Tomato and Arugula Italian Pasta - a simple pasta recipe with tomatoes, arugula, balsamic vinegar and Parmesan cheese. It’s fast, easy and perfect for a quick weeknight dinner.
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Picture this: You’ve had a long day, only a few ingredients in the fridge, and no energy to make a full blown, time-consuming meal. You could stop and pick something up, but you know how you feel after eating out and you won’t have anything for lunch tomorrow.
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with this super simple Tomato and Arugula Italian Pasta.
It’s quick and easy. It’s also packed with veggies and whole grain pasta. If you have less than 30 minutes and some basic pantry ingredients, you’re good to go with this Tomato and Arugula Italian Pasta. This pasta dish is also great for meal prep - make extra and have some for lunch!
Ready to make this quick Tomato and Arugula Italian Pasta? Let’s go!
This simple pasta dish is, well, simple. Cook the pasta, saute the garlic and tomatoes, make the dressing and put it all together to serve. Bam! A quick and delicious meal.
1 - Mise en place. Halve tomatoes, mince garlic, juice and zest lemon.
2 - Cook pasta. Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Stir in pasta, cover and cook according to the package, until al dente. Drain pasta, reserving ¼ cup of the pasta water.
3 - Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Whisk until combined. Alternatively, add dressing ingredients to a mason jar and shake until combined.
4 - Saute garlic with olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, about a minute. Reduce to low heat, add tomatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then add pasta, pasta water and balsamic dressing to the pan, let simmer 2-3 minutes.
5 - Serve with arugula and garnish with lemon juice, basil and Parmesan. Enjoy!
Tomato and Arugula Italian Pasta: Tips, Tricks and Tools
This is an incredibly simple dish that comes together in less than 30 minutes, but there are a few ways to streamline the process.
Want to make it vegan? This pasta is still delicious without the Parmesan, but if you find yourself wanting that cheesy goodness, try adding a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for that cheesy flavor. Chickpeas would also be a great addition.
Make enough for lunch the next day: This recipe makes about four hefty servings, but if you double up the recipe, you’ll have plenty more to keep in the fridge for lunch throughout the week. It’s an easy pasta dish that reheats well.
Quality ingredients: Look for REAL Balsamic Vinegar. It should be labelled Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale and carry a D.O.P stamp. That’s the real stuff - the good stuff. Don’t get stuck with the highly acidic flavored vinegar. Real balsamic vinegar is often thicker and much more flavorful.
Boost the nutrients by choosing a vegetable-based or whole wheat pasta: Swap traditional pasta for a whole wheat pasta or a veggie-based pasta like those made from lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, spinach, tomatoes, etc.
These whole grain pasta varieties boost the nutrient-density as they contain more fiber than the refined pasta alternatives. This is because in whole grains, the grain is kept intact, and the nutrients remain in their original and most beneficial state. See our Whole Grains post for more great information on the topic.
Variations. This pasta recipe is easily customizable to what you have on hand and your preferences. Have spinach instead of arugula? No problem. Use fusilli instead of penne or try thyme over basil. You do you!
We hope you love this simple Tomato and Arugula Italian Pasta!
- a great choice for a quick, weeknight dinner meal
- A perfect option for meal prep - reheats well and it’s packed with veggies
- A healthier version of pasta that packs in the veggies
Did you enjoy this Tomato and Arugula Italian as much as we do?
Comment below! And rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out! Not making it today? Save this Tomato and Arugula Italian Pasta for later by pinning it to your Pasta Recipes Board and make sure to tag us at The Crooked Carrot Instagram to show us your Tomato and Arugula Italian Pasta creations!
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Tomato & Arugula Italian Pasta
- 8 ounces penne pasta whole wheat
- 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar ideally Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale
- 3 tablespoon olive oil divided
- salt + pepper to taste
- ½ lemon juiced and zested
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 bunch arugula washed and patted dry
- Parmesan for garnish
- basil julienne, for garnish
- Cook pasta: Bring a medium pot (⅔ full of water) to boil, add pinch of salt. Stir in pasta, cover and cook according to package. Drain finished pasta, reserve ¼ cup pasta water.
- Prepare dressing: In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon zest. Whisk until combined.
- Sauté: Heat large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil until hot, then add garlic, saute until fragrant (about a minute). Reduce heat to low, stir in tomatoes, cook for 1-2 minutes. Add pasta and ¼ cup reserved pasta water. Add balsamic mixture to pan, simmer 1 minute.
- Serve: Remove from heat, stir in arugula until slightly wilted. Garnish with lemon juice, basil and Parmesan. Serve and enjoy!
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