The best of fast food: Whole Wheat Pasta with Rapini

This dish takes just a little longer to prepare than it takes to cook up a pot of pasta. What could be faster?

As Whole Grains Month draws to a close, take a look at what’s on your table.  Are whole grains playing a starring role or are refined ones still taking the spotlight? If so, be adventurous and try new products. If one whole grain pasta is not to your likeing, then try another until you find your match.

iStock photo

iStock photo

Here’s a recipe from my book, The Enlightened Eater’s Whole Foods Guide which incorporates whole grains and rapini – a.k.a. broccoli rabe. It’s traditionally combined  with pasta in this classic dish from Puglia. Greens, whole wheat and garlic – a perfect combination for healthy blood pressure readings.


Whole Wheat Pasta with Rapini

Makes 4-6 servings

3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp (5 mL) anchovy paste
3/4 pound (375 g)   whole wheat penne or other short pasta
2 bunches   rapini or  broccoli rabe, trimmed and chopped
1/4 cup (50 mL) freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup (50 mL)   freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until beginning to soften  about 8 – 10 minutes. Add  rapini and cook until pasta is just tender,  another 3 – 5 minutes.   Drain.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until beginning  to  soften about 1 minute. Stir in anchovy paste  until mixed into oil and garlic. Keep warm.

Place  pasta and  rapini in large bowl; toss with the oil and garlic mixture.  Sprinkle cheeses over and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper; serve immediately.

Per serving nutritional information:
Calories:  312
Protein:  14  grams
Fat:   10 grams
Saturated Fat:  2 grams
Carbohydrate:  47 grams
Dietary Fibre:  5  grams
Sodium: 186 milligrams

Are you a rapini fan? What’s your favourite way to prepare it?

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Categories: Recipes

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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