March 24, 2009
I have a confession: I don’t like whole wheat pasta.
There’s always a box in my cupboard. I buy it thinking, “This is the right thing to do,” and then it sits. For a long time. Because eating whole wheat pasta always leaves me feeling like I’ve unnecessarily given up flavor for health.
A few nights ago, I set out to make pizza when I discovered that something bizarre happened to my dough as it defrosted. (Don’t ask.) Left only with toppings–leftover roasted chicken, a can of artichokes, and smoked mozzarella–and a fridge that hadn’t been stocked in 2 weeks, pasta was the only save. No problem… except the only pasta left was a long passed over bag of whole wheat. Shit. From a delicious pizza dinner to whole wheat pasta. How did I end up here?!
To my surprise, this turns out to be an awesome combination! In fact, I bought the ingredients to make it again this week. Using smoked mozzarella makes a big difference–the bold flavor stands up to the pasta’s earthiness (something that usually dominates in a bad way). And the artichokes lend a tangy flavor that brightens the whole dish.
Not only is this recipe a keeper, but evidence that I can make whole wheat pasta work. That’s reason enough to start experimenting. Do you have a yummy whole wheat pasta recipe to share? Let us know!
Whole Wheat Pasta with Artichokes, Roast Chicken & Smoked Mozzarella
(can be adapted for kids 10+ mos)
1 lb organic whole wheat pasta
3 tbsp organic olive oil
6 cloves organic garlic, finely minced
1 can organic artichokes, in water, drained, quartered
1/2 organic roast chicken (or whatever you have left over)
1/2 cup organic chicken broth
1 ball smoked mozzarella, grated
salt & pepper
1. Put a large pot of salted water on medium-high heat (about 6 qts water to 2 tbs salt). Bring to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, drain, saving about a mugful of the cooking water. Set pasta aside.
2. In the meantime, saute garlic in olive oil in a large pan over medium heat until garlic turns a light golden brown. Add artichokes and chicken, sauteing until they also turn golden around the edges.
3. Add cooked pasta and broth to the pan with chicken and artichokes. Toss until pasta is well coated and warmed throughout. If the broth doesn’t provide enough liquid to generously coat the pasta, add some of the pasta cooking water or more broth.
4. Take off heat, add grathed cheese, and stir well to distribute cheese. (No matter how well you stir, it may clump a little–nothing wrong with an extra cheesy bite now and then). Add salt and pepper to older kid and adult portions.