Here a standard first-course salad -- watercress, grapes and blue cheese -- is instead tossed with warm pasta, stir-fry fashion, to form a substantial entree. The ingredients improve with warmth, which wilts the bitter watercress, warms the sweet grapes and melts the pungent blue cheese to form a creamy sauce. And there's only one pot to clean.
- 8 ounces farfalle pasta or other similarly shaped pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large red onion, cut into thin wedges
- 4 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes, halved
- 2 bunches watercress (may substitute 1 bunch arugula), chopped
- Lemon juice, to taste (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large wok or pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Dry the wok or pot thoroughly. Return to medium heat, add the oil and butter and heat until the butter melts. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens but does not brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the drained pasta, cheese, grapes, watercress, lemon juice, if using, and salt and plenty of pepper to taste and stir until the ingredients are combined and heated through. Serve immediately.
Adapted from "Wok Every Day" by Barbara Grunes and Virginia Van Vynckt (Chronicle, 2003).
Tested by Renee Schettler.
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