Years ago, I had a pasta dish at Michelangelo restaurant that I really, really liked. The pasta was tossed with arugula and, I think, shrimp, if I remember correctly. There were also pine nuts and shaved parmesan. Sometime later, I tried to recreate that delicious dish at home. This is what I came up with. It's now one of my favorite pasta dishes.
1 lb. dried penne pasta (or your favorite pasta - spaghetti, fusilli; whatever)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large or 2 small minced shallots
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/4 tsp. red-chili flakes
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and de-veined. (I also like to slice the shrimp in half, horizontally. When they cook they sort of turn into spirals.)
A couple of handfuls of arugula
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (shaved)
Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water, per package directions, until just al dente.
Drain the pasta and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes, until translucent.
Add the red-chili flakes and white wine and bring to a simmer, cooking until the liquid reduces by about half -- approximately five minutes.
Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook until just pink, a couple of minutes.
Put the pasta back into the large cooking pot, along with the shrimp and shallot mixture and the arugula. Toss to blend well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the pasta garnished with pine nuts and shaved pieces of Parmigiano-Reggiano.