Smoky Tomato, Roasted Red Pepper & Arugula Pasta

I don’t know about you, but I am swimming in some tomato love over here!  If you are visiting for the first time, Ali of Gimme Some Oven and I are hosting an 8-week Tomato Love Recipe Exchange celebrating all things tomato and we have some great giveaways to go along with it.  Week 1 was all about tomato appetizers.  Week 2 is tomato dips and salsas and we have had some great entries so far.  Click here to share your favorite tomato dip or salsa and enter to win a 12-cup Cuisinart Food Processor!

Smoky Tomato, Roasted Red Pepper & Arugula Pasta

We have truly loved getting to share some great tomato recipes but the real reason behind this recipe exchange is awareness.  Ali and I feel passionate about a campaign being sponsored by the International Justice Mission (IJM) that is helping to bring awareness to consumers about tomatoes.  90% of our country’s off-season tomatoes are farmed in Florida which has been recently called “ground zero” for modern-day slavery.  It’s heartbreaking to learn that this is happening right here, to our neighbors, but even more so that so many of us have no idea that it’s happening.

So IJM, along with many others, has been working tirelessly to bring awareness to this issue.  Thousands have been freed from slavery and tomato farmers have developed zero-tolerance programs for slavery, child labor, etc.  They fight for fair wages and safe working conditions.  Fast food companies and many grocery stores are already on board with this Fair Food program.

I sincerely encourage you to visit the Recipe for Change page to learn more about how you can be a part of this initiative.   With your love of food, you can help advocate for those who need us most!  By banding together, we hope to make a difference all over the country, and the world.

Smoky Tomato, Roasted Red Pepper & Arugula Pasta

So why not celebrate with some more #TomatoLove?  I made a quick tomato and roasted red pepper pasta in a spicy, smoky sauce.  I am a little bit obsessed with smoked paprika these days and it becomes the star flavor in this dish.  It’s quick, healthy and I love the fresh flavors!

This topic is a little heavier than my normal rants and ramblings but it has become very important to me to bring awareness to social justice issues.  I have been very encouraged by all of the support, the tweets, comments, emails from all of you getting behind this initiative.  Thank you, so very much for reaching out to simple love others! 

 Micah 6:8 …It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love… (The Message)

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Smoky Tomato, Roasted Red Pepper & Arugula Pasta

Yield: 2 Servings

Total Time: 20 minutes

Fresh veggies and pasta with smoky seasonings and fresh mozzarella.


8 ounces pasta
2 tsp. olive oil, divided
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, divided
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 cups fresh arugula
2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta cooks, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant, about 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, roasted red peppers, half of the basil, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Let the mixture cook for another 5-6 minutes until the tomatoes begin to soften.

Add the arugula to the pan and drizzle the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil over the arugula. Stir it to combine and cook until the arugula wilts. Turn the heat to low and stir in the mozzarella cheese. Add the cooked pasta and the pasta water and stir until combined. Top with Parmesan cheese.