Presto Pasta Nights – Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula

Browsing through the new recipes at, it didn’t take me long to decide on a dinner when I saw the Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula. I had a bunch of arugula and half a bunch of basil sitting in the fridge, crying to be used, penne and homemade dried cherry tomatoes in oil are a staple, a slab of Tyrolean speck could easily replace the pancetta, so I was all set, adding just a piece of Parmesan cheese and cream to my shopping list.

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula

It is pasta at its best, combining about a handful of ingredients to a tasty rustic meal, and I will surely make this again. I made only half a recipe for the two of us, though :-). Because it was such a winner with my husband, I am submitting this to Ruth’s weekly Presto Pasta Nights event.

Penne with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Arugula

Source: Gourmet magazine, May 2009

  • 1/4 pound thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 5 ounces baby arugula (8 cups), coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan plus additional for serving
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil or flat-leaf parsley


Cook pancetta in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, 6 to 10 minutes. Transfer pancetta with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat from skillet. Add onion, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in cream, sun-dried tomatoes, and pancetta and simmer until slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, then add arugula and stir until just wilted, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, cook penne in a pasta pot of well-salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta.

Add pasta and cheese to skillet and toss with sauce. Thin sauce with some of reserved cooking water, then stir in basil.

I think the basil adds a lot of flavor to the dish and would not recommend substitution with parsley at all.

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Eine Antwort

  1. Ruth sagt:

    Thanks so much for sharing such a gorgeous dish with Presto Pasta Nights.

    Hope to see you back often.

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