We wish there were a better word for us than “foodie.” It sounds a trifle demeaning, certainly frivolous and maybe even foolish. Yes, we care about food: where it came from, how it tastes and how it’s prepared. Yes, we think about food a lot, and will certainly go way out of our way for the good stuff. We like other people who like food and we don’t mind paying more for quality, although we also spend lots of time and energy working to build a food system where good food is accessible to everyone. Food lovers we are, food snobs we are not. And while we like to think we have good taste, wanting the best dinner isn’t always about sensual indulgence. We believe that wanting the best dinner is a hunger for the kind of world we want. We dream about a world where our waters run clean, where our air is unspoiled, where farm workers are treated with dignity and respect, and animals with kindness and gratitude. We hope for a future where our children and grandchildren know abundance, and where generations from now, neighbors and friends still sit down to share meals that are healthy and full of life. This week’s recipe captures all of this hope in a fragrant, steaming tangle of arugula and pasta. There are olives and olive oil from our very own state, pecans from Texas trees, and garlic from our fields. The hands that have grown and harvested everything that went into it have done so with care, building a world full of delicious promise from soil and sunshine. If loving that makes us “foodies,” I guess we’ll wear the name with pride.
Linguine with Arugula and Olive-Pecan Frico Crumble
1 pound linguine, cooked al dente and drained (reserve about 1/2 cup pasta cooking water)
3 cups arugula, chopped if leaves are large
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
pinch red pepper flakes
In a large skillet with high sides, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and chile flakes and sizzle for about 1 minute. Toss warm linguine and arugula in hot oil and toss with tongs, adding pasta cooking water to loosen if necessary. Place in serving bowl and top with Olive-Pecan Frico Crumble.
for Olive-Pecan Frico Crumble
1/4 cup olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/3 c grated parmesan
2 Tbs olive oil
Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Place on a small baking sheet in a 1/4 layer and bake until golden and crispy (stirring once or twice if edges are browning more quickly), about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Break into “crumbles.”