Mediterranean Penne with Arugula & Tomatoes

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A healthy, delicious pasta dish doesn’t need heavy creams and cheeses, or long simmering sauces. You’ll find that if you combine the simple, complementary flavors of just a handful of regional Italian ingredients, your simply prepared dish will sing with Mediterranean flavors. Add peppery arugula to tangy cherry tomatoes, and toss in a pan with garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper, and you have a simple dish with flavors that bring out the best in one another, needing no embellishment.

Mediterranean Penne with Arugula & Tomatoes

Mediterranean Penne with Arugula & Tomatoes

Yields: 6 servings | Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe | Calories: 353 | Total Fat: 9 g | Saturated Fat: 2 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Cholesterol: 19 mg | Sodium: 219 mg | Carbohydrates: 58 g | Dietary Fiber: 9 g | Sugars: 2 g | Protein: 13 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 10 |


  • 14 ounces whole grain penne pasta
  • 3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on the size)
  • 4 cups arugula, washed and trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 anchovy fillets preserved in oil, chopped OR 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 4 tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese (plus more if desired)


  1. Over high heat, bring a pot of water to a boil for cooking the pasta. When it boils, add 1 teaspoon salt then cook the pasta. Follow the number of minutes indicated in the package. When the pasta is cooked, drain. Set aside a cup of the water if needed for cooking the sauce.
  2. Meanwhile, while waiting for the water to boil, prepare the sauce. Over medium heat, in a saucepan with extra-virgin olive oil, sautè the garlic and the anchovies(if using). After about 2 - 3 minutes, when the garlic is fragrant and infused in the oil, remove and discard the garlic.
  3. Add the tomatoes and anchovy paste (if using) and toss with the oil. Cook for about 10 minutes when the juice of the tomatoes are seeping out and the sauce is thickening slightly. After about 10 minutes, add the arugula and black pepper. Toss until wilted, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked pasta and toss with the sauce. If you see that the sauce is too dry, add a little amount of pasta water. Add the Pecorino. Toss then turn off the heat.
  5. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil on the serving plate and sprinkle more Pecorino if desired.

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6 Comments on "Mediterranean Penne with Arugula & Tomatoes"

  1. Cheryl  January 27, 2015

    This recipe sounds delicious, but I have a question. Just above the nutritional info it states "4 servings" but in the nutritional info it states 6 servings. Which is correct?

    • SkinnyMs  January 28, 2015

      Cheryl, Thanks for pointing that out! The correct yield that the nutrition data was calculated from was 6 servings. We've corrected the typo. If you want to do larger servings you ca, but of course the information would change.

  2. Julie Lindstrom  January 29, 2015

    Can I leave out the anchovies?

    • SkinnyMs  January 29, 2015

      Julie, Of course you can leave out anchovies :)! We know that anchovies are not a lot of peoples cup of tea, so usually we make them optional. Another alternative is to use 1/2 teaspoon of anchovy paste which will add savoriness without being fishy or having the texture of anchovies that tends to put people off.

      • Julie Lindstrom  January 31, 2015

        thanks for the ideas…I want to leave out the anchovies because I'm vegan 😉 I was wondering if it would alter the recipe too much.

        • SkinnyMs  February 2, 2015

          Julie, You're welcome. No, omitting the anchovies altogether will be fine. If you want something salty in their place, you can always add olives (variety of your choosing).


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