Savor One Thing at Each Meal this Week

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Here’s your mindful eating practice exercise for this week: At every meal, savor one thing. I mean really, truly tune in. It could be the sharp, lemony aroma of cilantro in a salsa. It might be the way a tannic red wine grips you at the back of the throat. It may be the way your daughter squishes her face up as she chews her broccoli. Whatever it is you choose to notice, I promise it will take zero extra time out of your day. Yet it will have a profound impact on how you feel walking away from that meal.

Jay Dixit writes in a Psychology Today article, “When subjects in a study took a few minutes each day to actively savor something they usually hurried through . . . they began experiencing more joy, happiness, and other positive emotions.” In my own life, I’ve found that locking on to a particular moment is like boring a well into my soul’s memory.  Amidst a blur of activity, my thoughts become more and more concentrated until they hit the roomy, spacious place of connection. It is there that I feel wholly nourished. And while the moment itself may only last a few seconds, the experience–senses, emotions, thoughts–is engraved so deeply that I can dip into it and be replenished whenever I choose.

Savoring the moment is one of life’s great conundrums: it sounds so easy and yet takes such deliberate effort. I urge you to give it a try this week, though–with this arugula pesto if it tickles your fancy–and see how it nourishes you.

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Farfalle with Sausage and Arugula Pesto

Right about now, I get to craving the aromatic bliss of basil. But it’s tough to find in winter, and tends to be somewhat bland–and expensive–if you do. My seasonal secret? I use arugula, which is abundant right now both in my garden and on market shelves. The fresher the arugula, the more pungent the whole experience will be; for even more punch, pound the pesto in a mortar and pestle. This recipe makes a double batch of arugula pesto. The extra will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or you can freeze it for up to 6 months. This garlicky, spicy pesto is terrific with roast chicken, as a sandwich spread or dolloped on crostini with goat cheese.

Farfalle with Sausage and Arugula Pesto

Yield: Serves 4

Farfalle with Sausage and Arugula Pesto


  1. Arugula Pesto:
  2. 2 cups arugula, trimmed
  3. 4 cloves garlic, mashed
  4. 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  5. 2 tablespoons chicken stock
  6. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  7. 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  8. 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  9. 2tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  10. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  11. Kosher salt, to taste
  12. (makes a double batch of pesto)
  13. Pasta:
  14. 2 spicy Italian chicken sausages, removed from casing
  15. 1/2 pound farfalle pasta (preferably whole wheat)
  16. Kosher salt, to taste
  17. 2 cups arugula, trimmed


To make arugula pesto, blend first 7 ingredients (through vinegar) in a blender or food processor until smooth. Slowly pour in olive oil until the mixture has formed an emulsion. Pulse in cheese, season to taste with salt, and set aside.

To prepare pasta, saute sausage in a large pot over medium heat until browned, breaking up into pieces with the edge of a spatula. Set sausage aside to drain on paper towel and wipe out the pot. Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil with a generous pinch of salt.

Cook pasta according to package directions, and drain. Toss pasta with arugula, sausage and 1/2 the pesto, and serve.