Dinner in 30 Minutes

Linguine With Walnuts and Arugula

4 to 6 servings

Contrasting but complementary flavors lend a sure but subtle force to this simple pasta dish.

Adapted from "Everyday Dining With Wine" by Andrea Immer (Broadway, 2004).

3/4 pound fettuccine or other thin, flat noodle

1/3 to 1/2 cup walnut pieces

About 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 large cloves garlic, minced

2 cups tightly packed baby arugula leaves, washed and dried

Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Handful red seedless grapes or stemmed fresh figs, halved

1/4 cup grated manchego, Parmigiano- Reggiano or pecorino cheese OR 1/3 cup pitted, chopped olives (optional)

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, place the walnuts in a large dry skillet over medium heat and cook, shaking the pan frequently, until they are fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, chop coarsely and set aside.

Return the skillet to medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat until warm. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic softens and begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Transfer the pasta to the skillet with the garlic, return the skillet to medium heat and stir in the arugula and the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil. Cook, tossing frequently, to coat the pasta with the oil and to wilt the arugula, about 2 minutes. If the pasta seems dry, add a little of the reserved pasta water to moisten. Add the walnuts and toss to combine.

Remove the pasta from the heat, season with salt, more pepper than you think you should, additional oil to taste, grapes or figs and, if desired, cheese or olives (but not both; it will be too salty). Serve immediately.

Per serving (based on 6): 484 calories, 9 gm protein, 46 gm carbohydrates, 30 gm fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 gm saturated fat, 53 mg sodium, 2 gm dietary fiber

-- Renee Schettler

SHOPPING CART | Alternative Caviars

Many people are concerned that the illegal fishing and trade of caviar from countries that border the Caspian Sea could destroy the source of 90 percent of world caviar. To that end, this month the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora has announced that Caspian caviar quotas are down 22 percent from last year.

There are domestic alternatives.

Mountain Lakes Fisheries in Columbia Falls, Mont., sells beautiful, clean-tasting, apricot-colored Golden Whitefish Caviar ($49.53 for four ounces, including shipping). It's mildly flavored and slightly crunchy in texture. Call 888-809-0826 or see www.whitefishcaviar.com.

Caviar Assouline, a Philadelphia-based caviar importer and retailer, has unique alternatives for vegetarians. Its Seaweed Caviar ($7.95 for 3.5 ounces)has small, black, firm pearls with a flavor that brings pickle relish to mind. A new product this season, Faux-Luga ($7.50 per ounce) is made of soy. The "roe" is plump, gray in color and has an of-the-sea taste. Call 800-521-4491 or see www.icaviar.com.

BOOK REPORT |

VEG OUT: Vegetarian Guide to Washington, D.C.

Author: Andrew Evans

Publisher: Gibbs Smith, $12.95

Don't let the size of this slender volume mislead you. The green Zagat-size handbook canvasses an abundance of vegetarian and vegan restaurant options in the Washington area. Written by a local vegetarian travel writer, the listing includes rundowns of 145 restaurants, most of which are not strictly vegetarian but incorporate such offerings into their menus. (Caveat: Evans' assessments, though helpful, are indiscriminately glowing.) The book includes a fold-out map with numbered dots and color-coded neighborhoods.

In Memory of Julia

On Sunday, the American Institute of Wine & Food (AIWF) will host "In Celebration of Julia Child: Our Memories," a formal remembrance ceremony featuring comments from her fellow AIWF founders Jacques Pepin, Anne Willan, Dorie Greenspan, Jim Dodge, Ris Lacoste and Child's personal assistant, Stephanie Hersh.

The event will begin with the opportunity for guests to record their own memories of Child via computer or video, which will be posted on the AIWF Web site at a later date.

A wine reception featuring foods from local chefs follows at 6 p.m. The guest speakers will share their memories from 7 to 8 p.m.

$75 for nonmembers; at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave. SW. For reservations, call 800-274-2493 or see www.aiwf.org. EQUIPMENT | Bamboo Steamer

There are a number of steaming contraptions on the market.

Rice steamers come with inserts that take advantage of the secondhand steam. So do some stockpots. And then there's the classic but awkward footed stainless-steel expandable basket (at right) that burns your fingers as you try to hoist either basket or vegetables from the pot.

We prefer our bamboo steamer. Its layered approach provides ample space for several servings. Its domed lid traps just the right amount of moisture. And it has worked for centuries. Just place it over an inch or two of water in a wok or stockpot.

Bamboo steamers, such as the Joyce Chen model, shown at left and right, are available in six- and 10-inch-wide sizes at most Asian markets, cookware stores and online cookware purveyors.

TODAY'S TIP

When not in use, bamboo steamers can be employed to store shallots, garlic and small onions. The dark, ventilated environment creates the proper storage conditions to prevent mold.

-- Adapted from the July issue of Martha Stewart Living

TO DO

THURSDAY: Mushroom and wine festival sponsored by the French International Culinary Society, Alliance Francaise and TV5. $55 for nonmembers. 6-9:30 p.m. Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Rd. NW. Call 202-234-7911 or see www.FICSevents.com.

FRIDAY: Discussion, book signing and wine tasting with "The Good Cook" author Anne Willan at Best Cellars. Sponsored by Olsson's Books and Music. Free. 5:30-7:30 p.m. 1643 Connecticut Ave. NW. Call 202-387-3146.

SATURDAY: Wine luncheon and book signing with "The Good Cook" author Anne Willan at 1789 Restaurant. Sponsored by the American Institute of Wine & Food. $95 for nonmembers. Noon. 1226 36th St. NW. Call 301-588-3060.

SATURDAY: Australian and New Zealand wine and food tasting. Sponsored by the Australian America Association. $60 for nonmembers. 5-8 p.m. Australian Embassy, 1601 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Call 202-659-2400 or see www.australiausa.org.

SATURDAY: Taste of Shaw -- food and beverage tastings from neighborhood restaurants and clubs. Sponsored by Shaw Main Streets, a community-based nonprofit organization. $15 in advance. 5-7 p.m. Ninth St. NW, between T and U streets. Call 202-232-2915, ext. 109 or see www.shawmainstreets.com.

SATURDAY: Fall polenta dinner at Holy Rosary Church Casa Italiana. $35. 7-11 p.m. 595 Third St. NW. Call 202-638-0165 or see www.holyrosarychurchdc.org.

SUNDAY: Great Chefs for Great Opera -- food tastings from local chefs. Benefits the Washington National Opera. Sponsored by the Women's Committee of the Washington National Opera. $100. 6-8 p.m. Neiman Marcus Mazza Gallerie, 5300 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Call 202-295-2449.

TUESDAY: A Celebration of Northwest Seafood -- wine dinner at McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant featuring wines from Washington State. $70 includes tax and tip 7 p.m. 1652 K St. NW. Call 202-861-2233.

PLEASE NOTE: Space limitations sometimes prevent Food from publishing all submissions. For possible inclusion, send notices to: To Do, Food, The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington D.C., 20071 or food@washpost.com. Submissions must be received at least 14 days prior to publication date.