My experiments with pasta continues. As I discover new flavors and basking in the thorough joy of making homemade pasta, I can’t help but feel guilty every time I look in my pantry for that white flour. Why does something that tastes so good have to be high in calories? Why isn’t there a single thing that can be eaten in large portions much like we drink water and still not tip off the scale? In my frustration, I decided to pick up some organic whole wheat pasta during the next grocery visit. When I walked down the pasta aisle to pick up the box, my mind immediately started doing its magic of figuring out what would go with whole wheat. After reading dozens of forums that claim whole wheat pasta a sin committed by health freaks, I was skeptical for sure. But I wasn’t going to give up. I had to make this to see for myself.
Content with myself for not getting swayed by the Internet, I went to the veggies aisle and picked up whatever I could find that would go with this pasta. I grabbed some zucchini, mushrooms, basil, a bottle of tomato and basil sauce that was on sale and a bag of locally grown garlic. After a few days of eating junk food over the weekend and with K away at work, I decided today had to be the perfect day to experiment with whole wheat pasta knowing K’s aversion to anything healthy. Try it, test it and then serve it. Before I started to cook, I was watching some random youtube videos on boiling whole wheat pasta. This chef ( I don’t remember the name) explained how when you salt the water you boil the pasta in (any kind ) must taste like the ocean. Interesting. I have never thought of that before. All I ever did was throw the pasta in some boiling water with a pinch of salt and a spoon of oil. Immediately after watching the video, I headed into the kitchen and started to cook. Here’s my recipe for the whole wheat pasta…. Let’s call it “Nutty Brown” (brown for the wheat and nutty for the nutty flavor it gives)
Nutty Brown (Serves 2 – 3 people)
Whole wheat spaghetti (Half a box of store bought whole wheat)
Salt (until the water does taste like the ocean)
A spoon of oil
Ingredients for sauce:
3/4ths of a bottle of tomato and basil sauce (any store bought brand or home made)
Half a larrrrrge red onion or 1 medium sized red onion (I like red because it adds to the sweetness and looks great in a red wine sauce)
A knob of garlic
A couple of pinches of salt
Chilli flakes (optional)
2-3 gratings of parmigiano reggiano
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup of red wine ( I used Zinfandel. I’m sure any regular table red would work)
1. Chop up the veggies. I roughly chopped the mushrooms.
2. Saute the onions and garlic in 1 tbsp of olive oil until onions start to brown. At this point, add chili flakes if you like some heat or skip.
3. Add one more spoon of oil and add the mushrooms and zucchini. Cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add a cup of red wine and let it reduce until the veggies start to look thick and saucy.
5. Add 3/4th of a bottle of tomato and basil sauce and combine until thoroughly cooked. Usually takes about 2 minutes.
6. Turn off heat and serve on a plate of spaghetti. Don’t forget to sprinkle some parmesan! Enjoy!