This time of year, as the temperature swings from flat out cold to mild and sunny, my taste buds are all over the place. One day it's big, warm, comforting bowls of steaming soup, the next it's bright, bold flavors in a lighter dish like this pasta from Donna Hay. This is an old favorite. I never tire of it.
If you aren't familiar with Donna Hay — she is to Australia what Martha Stewart is to the U.S. I've always loved Donna Hay magazine because her recipes are simple, straightforward, usually have relatively short ingredient lists but still manage to pair unexpected flavors with a fresh appeal, and there is usually a stunning photo of almost every recipe. Food photographers like Con Poulos and Petrina Tinslay appear in her pages and their photos are reason enough for me to oogle the magazine, even if I wasn't interested in the food.
I love this recipe because in true Donna Hay style, it's quick to throw together, brings together unexpected ingredients (pasta, lime, prosciutto, capers, feta and arugula, or rocket, as the Aussies call it), and is a big return on investment. You can never have enough dishes like this in your arsenal.
The brightness of the lime juice and the pepperiness of the arugula combined with the savory richness of the proscuitto and feta make this a very satisfying dish.
Spaghetti with lime and rocket
14 ounces spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime zest, from organic lime
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 mild red chili, seeded and sliced
2 tablespoons capers, drained or rinsed as needed
8 slices of proscuitto, sliced into strips
5 ounces rocket (arugula)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
Cook your pasta in boiling water and drain.
While the spaghetti is cooking, put the oil into a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the lime zest, garlic, chili and capers and cook for one minute. Add the proscuitto strips and cook for two more minutes until it gets crispy.
When the pasta is ready and drained, add it to the pan with the proscuitto and oil. Toss it all together well. Remove from heat.
Add the rocket/arugula and lime juice and toss together to combine.
Serve topped with crumbled feta and a little fresh pepper. (Beware of adding salt, as the proscuitto, feta and capers are already salted so you probably won't need any more.)
Adapted from Flavours by Donna Hay.