Friday, October 15, 2010

Straccetti Con Rughetta

Here's one of our favorite dishes from famous Atlanta pasta chef Elisa Gambino. We can never remember the Italian name for this dish, so in our family it goes by it's English translation: Rocket Arugula. The paper-thin slices of tenderloin melt in your mouth. The peppery arugula is a brilliant contrast to the tartness of the fresh lemon juice. The garlic, sage and rosemary excel in their supporting roles. Elisa's recipe serves 4.

1 1/2 pounds of beef tenderloin*
15 ounces of baby arugula
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil plus 3 tablespoons
1 lemon
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper

  1. Slice the tenderloin diagonally, as thin as possible.**
  2. Sprinkle meat with garlic, rosemary, sage, pepper and salt. Toss in a large bowl with the 1/4 cup of olive oil.
  3. Heat a large skillet or Dutch Oven (must have a lid) over medium heat.
  4. Once the pan is hot, add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the tenderloin and cook just until the pink is gone (do not brown meat).
  5. Turn down heat and add the arugula.
  6. Put the lid on the pan and let it wilt for one minute.
  7. Take the lid off and stir until all of the arugula is lightly wilted.
  8.  Squeeze the lemon over the dish and stir. Taste and add salt as necessary. Serve.
Wine pairing: Pinot Noir or Merlot

* I buy whole tenderloins from Costco at $7.99 a pound. I trim it myself and can get 4 complete meals out of a whole tenderloin. If you go to Byerly's, their dry-aged tenderloin will set you back a whopping $26.99 a pound.
** To get really thin slices of the tenderloin,  put the meat in the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing.

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