Tucker Bartholomew's Lemony Pasta with Wilted Arugula

Lemony pasta with wilted arugula

Ingredients: (4 servings)

• coarse salt and ground pepper

• 3/4 pound short tubular pasta

• 3 ounces wild or baby arugula (3 cups)

• 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 3/4 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus more for serving


In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. In a large bowl, compbine arugula with lemon zest and juice; season with salt and pepper. Drain pasta and immediately add to arugula along with oil and cheese. Toss and season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with more cheese (if desired).


While the specificity behind its name would insinuate a unique history and background, "Lemony pasta with wilted arugula" is simply an alternative to both salad, and pasta. The ingredients are simple, and incorporate whole foods and processed foods. The pasta is a toss-up. Normally, pasta is considered a "whole food", yet many genetically modified strains of pasta are sold in supermarkets and local delis. The arugula is typically bought local, so it is almost definitely a "whole food." The lemons used for juice and zest are also whole foods. The only other potentially GMO besides the pasta is the olive oil (the cheese is also bought 'organically').

Overall, the meal is fairly healthy, albeit one or two exceptions. In one serving, you consume 443 calories, approximately 13 grams of fat (4 of which are saturated), 18 grams of protein, 65 grams in carbohydrates, and 3.1 grams of fiber. The meal would be great after a long run, or extended break in a day's meal. While 443 calories for one serving is a lot, the standard calorie count for a main dish at a meal is 510 cal. 

The environmental impact is very low. While the liquids may have been processed, the other foods are purchased locally at delis or farmers markets that sell food from local farms. I can proudly say that the meal is entirely American, and the majority of the meal only traveled approximately 100 miles (excuse the liquids). 

Depending on the quality of pasta, cheese, lemons, and other ingredients, the meals price varies. This dish costs approximately $22, however broken down over four people it only comes to around $5.50 per person (assuming only four people are eating. When you double the amount of people, you double the ingredients). 

The social ramifications are not steep. The farm that the arugula comes from is in Lancaster County, PA, and was purchased at a local farmers' market at Clark Park in West Philadelphia. The majority of the food that my family buys is from local farmers' markets, so Supreme Shop n' Bag would not be gaining profit. 

Personal Reflection:

Over the course of this unit, I’ve learned a great deal about the production and consumption of food. Furthermore, we have studied the cause and effect behind everyday foods - going into depth about the effects of sugars, carbohydrates, and fats. Placing myself into the larger food system, I realize that my footprint in the food market directly aligns with the footprint of other consumers - whether I like it or not. This is one of the biggest problems in our food market: while we can choose what to buy at the store, we do not choose where it comes from. The simplest solution to these problems would be to buy things locally, and support non-industrialized farming. For me, this would mean supporting the local farmers market, and purchasing food grown in Lancaster Country or other rural parts of Pennsylvania. Preferably non-genetically modified foods as well. While the impact would be small, I would hope these trends transcend my own food-footprint and into other communities. 

Unfortunately, it’s not easy to make these changes. Local food is often more expensive than industrial food because its price is based on quality, and the time it took to make. However, I am willing to try to make these changes. 

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