If Nothing Else Helps Pasta

I call this particular type of pasta dish the “If nothing else helps” pasta. Why? If my wife can’t think of ANYTHING AT ALL she would like to eat (other than peanut butter sandwiches with a tall glass of cold milk), I will make that pasta. She loves it, I love it, it is full of flavor and vitamins. Enjoy!

Serves: 2. Preparation time: 10 mins. Cooking time: 10 minutes


  • 10 oz package of pasta (I prefer Spaghetti)
  • 250 g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes (juicy and sweet)
  • small can of black olives, preferably already pitted
  • 200 g (7 oz) ham
  • fresh garlic, 3 cloves
  • 2 red chilli peppers
  • pine nuts (I use a small package of aprox. 100 g)
  • arugula (package, approx. 5 oz, preferably already washed)
  • a piece of fresh parmesan cheese to grate
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper, freshly ground

Preparation / Cooking

Bring a pot with water to boil ( I like to use a large pot with enough water to easily cover all pasta), add 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the water. Cook pasta until al dente. In the meantime, prepare your other ingredients. Slice the ham into pieces, slice the olives, quarter the cherry tomatoes. Cut the arugula into bite size pieces. Skin and mince the garlic; cut the red chilli peppers, remove seeds, mince the remaining pepper. Set all aside. Roast the pine nuts in a frying pan without oil until medium brown. Set aside. Grate the parmesan cheese (I prefer it coarsely grated). Set aside.

While your pasta cooks, heat up 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a wok pan. Add the garlic and chilli pepper to the hot oil and sprinkle with salt ( I prefer sea salt, but thats entirely up to you). Don’t brown, just glace. Add the ham and reduce to medium heat; simmer and stir for 2 minutes; add olives; simmer for another two minutes. By now your pasta should be ready. Drain it. Add tomatoes to the wok, salt and pepper to taste,  and immediately after, add your pasta. Toss. Add another 4 to 8 tablespoons of olive oil, depending on how moist you like your pasta! Finally, add the roasted pine nuts and the arugula and toss one more time before taking the wok from the heat. Arrange pasta in deep dishes and cover with the freshly grated parmesan cheese. Et voila! Serve immediately 🙂

We like to add some fresh ciabatta bread on the side, but again, thats up to you. Perfect with a glass of wine of your choice or even a cold beer 🙂

Please remember to always add a pitcher of water to your dinner table 🙂 fluid intake is very important!


If you enjoyed this particular dish and like to comment or have any questions, please feel free to do so below. Thanks!