When you meet and marry someone on my side of thirty, it's a crapshoot whether or not you're going to like that person's friends.
I mostly got lucky. David has some great friends, and among my favorites are his friends Warren and Diane. Warren has an indelible quality: he is a punster.
His birthday was on Sunday, but he celebrated on Monday with a football-themed viewing party. I'm not a football person despite the fact that I grew up in a football-crazy place, so I don't want to hear it when I confess I left ten minutes into the game. Diane commissioned a Raiders-themed cake with beautifully colored fondant, but I didn't take a picture of it. I don't want to hear it about that either.
Please note that this post has nothing to do with football or fondant. I tell you this in explanation for the pun-ny quality of the title of the post. It happens for a few days every time I've been around Warren, and I blame him personally.
What this post is about is damn simple weeknight pasta made with the ear-shaped orecchiette. I think it's an underutilized pasta shape, myself. It holds sauce beautifully and it's fun just looking at it. There isn't much to this pasta, but it goes together in a snap and hits the slightly salty, savory target. To make this vegetarian, omit the anchovies.
Adapted from A16 Food + Wine
2 small dried peperoncini peppers or dried crushed red pepper
12 ounces dried orecchiette pasta
Chunk of pecorino romano cheese
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is warmed, add the garlic. Stir occasionally to make sure it browns and doesn't scorch, about 3 minutes.
Add the anchovies, arugula, water and peppers--you might start with one and add the additional one later if you'd like more spice. Bring these ingredients to a low simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until the greens are very soft but not falling apart and the water is reduced.