Arugula, Chickpea, and Goat Cheese Pasta Salad

June 30, 2011

I gained 3 lbs in Barcelona (WORTH IT). Here’s how:

Plate of Calamaritti (ittuh bittuh squids) and bottle of Cava at La Mar Salada.

Paella at La Mar Salada (which we went to because of this NY Times article). Awkward photo courtesy of said bottle of Cava.

Jamon y queso bocadillo (Spanish ham and cheese sandwich). This was from a little shop in the Born neighborhood in Spain. Also, I want to give a shout-out to Pans&Company. It’s the Spanish version of Subway, but even their version of Jambon Y Queso brought me to my knees. WHY IS SPAIN SO MUCH BETTER THAN US AT HAM?

A pitcher of Sangria and tapas at Bilbao Berria. Each tapas is 1.65 Euros. You go up to the counter, help yourself to whatever looks good, pop the skewers that stick out of each tapas into the metal cup in the middle of your table. At the end of the night, the waiter counts your skewers and charges your accordingly.


My favorite tapas at Bilbao Berria. Iberian ham, roasted chile pepper, and a quail egg on toast. YOU MUST GO HERE.

Pig jowl. So sweet, so tender, so rich. From some tiny restaurant in rural Spain where no one spoke any English. I wish I remembered the name. Not that I could ever remember how to get there again or anything…

Wine and Cava tasting at this beautiful vineyard. Wine and cava tasting where there is no spit bucket… that was also an interesting afternoon. Why does Spain drink SO MUCH?

Cannelloni stuffed with roast beef, covered in cheese, spritzed with truffle oil from Restaurant L’Etapes. This is a traditional Catalan Christmas dish, as well as the signature dish of this restaurant. Will and I decided that this was our very favorite restaurant of our entire trip. It was small and quaint, with a waitstaff who truly cared that you enjoyed each and every dish they brought out. Every one of the tapas was superbly executed, using very fresh ingredients.

Mussels with tomatoes, garlic scapes, and crispy onions at Ohla Gastronomic Bar. Basically every traditional restaurant in Barcelona is closed on Sunday nights, except for ones that are located in hotels. We came across this one by sheer dumb luck our first night, and decided to eat there the last night as well as it was a) wonderful and b) everything else was closed. Other highlights of this meal included gazpacho with sardines and spelt bread crumbs, dried tuna with shaved macadamia nuts. Again, highly recommended, particularly on Sunday night.

So as you can see, we ate our weight in cured meat and cheese. We were desperately craving something like this as soon as we got home:

Lots and lots of arugula, tossed with chickpeas, pasta, and goat cheese. Full of vitamins and fiber (things we seemed to have missed ordering off tapas menus in Spain). I added a hard boiled egg to the leftovers the next day, for a little extra protein. It was lovely. It’s all about balance, I suppose.

Salut!

ARUGULA, CHICKPEA, AND GOAT CHEESE PASTA SALAD (by me)

Serves 8 as a main course

It took us a few days to eat this. I normally wait until the last minute to dress my salads, but the dressing was light enough that the greens never got soggy. You can dress it ahead of time and help yourself as you please, if you like.

Ingredients

8 cups arugula

1 can chickpeas

4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup good olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 lb cooked, cooled pasta

Salt & Pepper to taste

Recipe

Put arugula, chickpeas, and goat cheese into an enormous bowl. Whisk together garlic, olive oil, and red pepper flakes, then pour the dressing over the beans and greens. Mix together with your hands or salad tongs. Add pasta and mix again until well combined. Add salt & pepper to taste.

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One Response to “Arugula, Chickpea, and Goat Cheese Pasta Salad”

  1. Melissa Says:

    “El Raco” Braseria was where we ate the pig jowels. Cannot remember the town. Hope you guys had a great honeymoon! I will definitely try the recipe — yum!


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