Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Whole Wheat pasta

Whole Wheat pasta with green and walnuts
Why this recipe works: we love the nutty, earthy flavor of high quality whole wheat pasta, and we found that it was a great foil for the vegetal taste of the kale. Unfortunately, the quantity of kale necessary for this recipe meant that we would have to cook the greens in several batches. Wanting to save time without skimping on the greens, we found the solution by wilting half of the greens in a hot pan with out onions early in the process, then adding the remaining kale with the chicken broth. We finish the pasta by simmering it right in the sauce, a step that helps to integrate the components of the dish. The pasta not only absorbs the flavor of the sauce, but it also releases some of its residual starch, which helps to thicken the sauce slightly.

Whole wheat pasta green, walnuts, and ricotta salata
Ingredients: serve 4
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onion, halved and sliced thin
6 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
4 anchovy fillets, minced
1 ½ pound(about 2 bunches) kale, thick stems trimmed, leaves chopped
2 cups low sodium chicken broth salt and pepper
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
1 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1 cup shaved ricotta salata cheese

  1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat until shimmering. Add onions and cook until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, pepper flakes, and anchovies to skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds
  2. Add half greens to pan and toss occasionally until starting to wilt, about 2 minutes. Add remaining greens, broth, and ¾ teaspoon salt; cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until greens are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon salt and spaghetti to boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water, drain spaghetti, and return spaghetti to pot. Stir in sauce with greens and reserved cooking water as needed. Simmer until pasta has absorbed the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with walnuts and cheese. Serve.

Smart shopping whole whet pasta
While most of its whole grain brethren landed toward the bottom of our pasta ranking for their “sour” taste and “gritty” texture, one brand boasted the same “firm” bite as the pastas with few or no whole grains. Tasters lauded Bionaturae organic 100% whole wheat spaghetti for being “heartier than white pasta, without being to wheaty”

Quick prep prepping kale
To neatly trim and catch the leaves of greens like kale and collards, hold a leaf by the stem over a large bowl. Then, carefully use a sharp knife to slash the leafy portion both sides of stem.

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