There’s nothing I think I love more than pasta.
Okay well my favorite food group is actually dough-based foods with meat or vegetable stuffings (ravioli, tamales, samosas… etc.). But pasta dishes are a close second. Pasta has taken on many forms since I was a kid. There is now pasta for every kind of diet: gluten free, whole wheat, they even make pasta out of quinoa… but my new favorite thing is high fiber pasta. I feel that pasta is generally low in fiber, and also I’m probably not getting a ton of fiber in my daily diet, so I was very excited when Trader Joe’s revealed their new high fiber pastas (penne and spaghetti) for… I think $1.29. Not bad for pasta that will feed me for four meals. I instantly took to the spaghetti because I love long pastas, noodles, etc. but just recently I decided I would buy the penne.
There are two dishes made with pasta that are pretty much stand by pasta dishes that anyone can do with ingredients they most likely already have in their house. The first is pasta primavera, which you can make in a single pot with whatever vegetables you like and all you need for a “sauce” is butter, white wine, and cheese and maybe oregano if you’re feeling particularly fancy. The second is Aglio e Olio, or Garlic and Oil. The ingredients you need for that are olive oil (or vegetable oil if you don’t have olive oil), garlic cloves, and crushed red pepper flakes for a kick. I’ve combined these two recipes to suit my pantry and my taste buds. Enjoy!
Aglio e Olio Pasta Primavera
1 Package penne or other short pasta (high fiber from Trader Joe’s is great for taste, fiber content and cooking time)
2 Crowns broccoli, cleaned and cut into similarly-sized florets, you can cut the stalks into smaller pieces as well
1 Cup frozen peas
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/3 Cup dry white wine
1/4 (plus a bit) Teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 Cloves garlic, peeled and minced (or if you love garlic you can make thin slices)
1 Cup loosely-packed freshly grated Parmesan cheese, or Pecorino Romano if you prefer
Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and, if your cooking time is 6 minutes (like the penne from Trader Joe’s) add the stems after one minute, and the florets after 1 1/2 minutes. Cook, stirring every once in a while, then add the peas in at the last minute. When the pasta is Al Dente, Drain with all the veggies. Set aside.
In a small frying pan, heat up the olive oil over a medium heat. Then add the crushed red pepper flakes. Wait a few seconds, then add the garlic cloves. Wait a few more seconds (DO NOT LET THE GARLIC BURN IF IT STARTS TO BURN DON’T WAIT) and then add the white wine. Turn off the heat after a minute and it will simmer naturally, then turn the heat back on. When the sauce starts to bubble, turn it off and combine it with the pasta mixture in your boiling pot or a bowl for serving. Stir in the cheese, and serve!
It took no time at all and is absolutely delicious. The olive oil is sweet, the wine is savory, the crushed pepper adds a spicy note, and the garlic adds a zing. The veggies are tender and delicious, and my pasta is high in fiber. There’s nothing to complain about here!
Buon Appetito, Love, and Happy Spatulas,