Before I get to this pasta, I have some news to share…

Pasta with Arugula

Matt got into medical school! He’ll be starting at Cornell in the fall, which means we’re moving back to NYC in August. As much as I’ll miss Boston, I didn’t feel done with New York just yet. This news was so exciting on many levels.

We pretty much spent the entire weekend celebrating, and were so exhausted by Sunday that we didn’t even celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Instead, I sat around and menu-planned for the week. All day. That’s normal, right?

You see, between over-buying for my catering job last week and cooking for friends over the weekend, we have quite an assortment of food to use this week. This pasta with arugula, loosely based on this recipe on Shutterbean, made great use of our arugula, walnuts, lemons, and pasta.

Pasta with Arugula

It was so quick to throw together that the key was to have all of the ingredients prepped and measured out before starting. Then, it literally came together in the amount of time it took to cook the pasta.

Pasta with Arugula

The resulting dish had the flavors of a great arugula pesto, but tasted much lighter with the barely wilted arugula and bright lemon flavor. I couldn’t help but think this would be a great dish to enjoy outside in the summer, or even eaten at room temperature at a picnic.

Let’s just ignore the snow storm hitting us tomorrow…

Whole Wheat Pasta with Arugula, Lemon, and Walnuts

Yield: 2-3 servings

Whole Wheat Pasta with Arugula, Lemon, and Walnuts

Loosely adapted from Shutterbean


  • 6 ounces whole wheat pasta (spaghetti or angel hair would work best)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 3 ounces baby arugula
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving


  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red chili flakes. Cook for about 10 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary, until the garlic is just lightly browned and the oil is infused. Stir in the lemon zest and remove from the heat.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, place the arugula in a large bowl. Drain the pasta and immediately pour it over the arugula. Add the infused oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss until some of the arugula is just slightly wilted and then add the lemon juice.
  • Serve topped with the walnuts and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

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  • Joanne (eats well with others)

    i said it once and i’ll say it again…CONGRATULATIONS to Matt! And I’m so excited we’re going to be neighbors. Possibly, like…in the same building which is insane! there is going to be so much good food in our future together lol. 🙂

    I really hope that warmer weather comes soon…but in the meantime I’ll make this fresh-flavored pasta and blast my heat and pretend it’s summer…

    • Colleen

      I’m so excited, too!!

  • Emily

    Very exciting news!! Boston will miss you but moving to NYC sounds wonderful, too. I love how fresh this dish is — perfect for when the weather FINALLY decides to cooperate 🙂

  • Megan

    Congratulations to Matt! We’ll definitely miss you here in Boston. This pasta sounds delicious, and I have almost all of the ingredients for it at home. I may end up making it this week!

  • Shannon G

    this sounds absolutely delicious!! congrats to matt! will definitely miss you here in boston, but definitely exciting things to look forward to 🙂

  • Kristen

    awesome meal and congrats to Matt. Boston will miss you, but the move to NYC is so exciting!

  • Michelle Collins

    Congrats to Matt, and glad you are excited for the move! Although we will miss you here in Boston. 🙂

  • Maria Tadic

    I love arugula with pasta! And lemon! I can’t wait to try this out!

  • Simply Life

    congrats!!!!!!! what exciting news!

  • ThePreppedChef

    Thank you so much for the fantastic recipe. I made this wonderful pasta paired with a sautéed lemon chicken. I may have to make this again for my blog

    • Colleen

      Thanks for commenting…and so glad you liked the recipe!

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  • Jess

    I have been making this as a quick weeknight meal for months! Thanks! If we have it sometimes I will scampi some shrimp and add on top 😉

    • Colleen

      Awesome! Glad you like it!

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