Whole Wheat Penne with Steak + Arugula

It was a long, fun-filled weekend with the family in town…A drunken Centro Vinotecca dinner-Tuscan Gemma brunch-cocktails at 5-dinner at Braeburn-Kingswood Easter brunch later… James and I were ready for a night in. We wanted simple. We wanted tasty. Maybe it’s me but there’s something about meat that just seems right on Easter Sunday, and we weren’t craving lamb chops or pork loin. Steak it is. Pasta we wanted. And I love greens. Whole Wheat Penne with Steak and Arugula. Another Sunday night, of course, done right.
Whole Wheat Penne with Steak and Arugula
1 New York strip steak
1/2 tsp herbes de Provence
1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound whole wheat penne pasta
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1/8 cup chopped fresh basil

1/8 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 cup chopped arugula
Season the steak with salt and pepper, herbes de Provence and the minced garlic.Heat the grill or a skillet to medium heat. Cook steaks for about 7 minutes per side. Remove the meat to a cutting board and let it rest while you cook the pasta.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but slightly firm, about 8 to 10 minutes. In the mean time, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, the basil and parsley in a small bowl.Slowly whisk in olive oil to desired liking.
In a large bowl, toss the pasta with half of the dressing. Set aside. Slice the steaks thin and add to the pasta with the arugula. Add more dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep in mind that when tossing with the vinegar (or other acidic-based products) the meat will continue to cook post-grilling. I recommend cooking the steak rare or medium-rare to avoid ultimately over cooking the meat. This pasta is also great hours later at room temperature. The heat of the pasta will warm up the sweet balsamic vinegar and wilt the arugula. Great idea for picnics or buffets!Adapted from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe.

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