The Tucci Cookbook - Lay it Flat Cooking Challenge

Welcome to the Lay it Flat Cooking Challenge, an exciting culinary adventure that invites all food enthusiasts to roll up their sleeves and unleash their inner chef! At Lay it Flat, we believe that cooking should be an enjoyable, rewarding experience, and what better way to celebrate that than with a thrilling competition that puts your culinary skills to the test?

Each week, participants will be guided by one of our carefully curated recipes, culminating in a monthly drawing for a chance to win a free book from our collection. This week, we're delving into the flavors of the Mediterranean with an exquisite Pasta Salad with Arugula and Tomatoes, straight from The Tucci Cookbook. Whether you're a seasoned cook or just starting your culinary journey, we invite you to join us in this cooking challenge. Let's turn simple ingredients into extraordinary meals, one delicious recipe at a time!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Arugula and Tomatoes


  • 1 lb penne
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups packed steamed arugula, coarsely cut or torn
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 3 cups peeled and seeded ripe tomatoes cut into 1/2" dice (about 4 large tomatoes)
  • 3 tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Freshly grated Parmesean or ricotta salata cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, following the package instructions. Drain and transfer to a wide serving bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the arugula, basil, tomatoes, and remaining 5 table-spoons olive oil, the salt, pepper to taste, and the lemon juice. Toss well. Serve at room temperature, garnish with Parmesan.

- Serves 6 to 8 -

Wine Pairing: Sparkling, light white, and light red

Variations: Fusilli, farfalle, or conchiglie pasta may be substituted for the penne. Red or yellow cherry tomatoes, or a combination of both cut in half, may be substituted for the whole tomatoes. (Note: You will need about 1-1/2 pints.) Another great addition to this dish is 1/2 pound freshly diced mozzarella. Toss it in the salad along with 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar for a zesty, hearty dish.

Pick up The Tucci Cookbook today for over 200 awesome Italian recipes!