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Whole Wheat Linguine with Olives, Thyme, Lemon and Artichoke Hearts

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I must admit, it took some effort to give whole-wheat pasta a try.  But with my wife and I both trying to watch the calories and points, the whole wheat option became something that became more appealing.  Now I’m sold on the idea.  This pasta has a nuttier flavor than regular pasta.  It lends itself to sauces that compliment that nutty flavor.  Don’t put plain old maranara on this pasta.  It will be a disappointment.  This pasta requires rich, creamy sauces or robust flavors.  With my next few posts, I’m going to share three quick and tasty ideas for you to use the dreaded whole-wheat pasta to the enjoyment of all.  The first important factor is to get good quality whole-wheat pasta.  I suggest either Rustichella d’ Abruzzo (sold at select Whole Foods Markets) or Gia Russa (sold at Central Market and select Whole Foods Markets).  In my experience it will take the longer time noted on the package directions to cook it so it is not tough.  The first dish makes a great side to go with roasted chicken.

Whole-Wheat Linguine with Olives,  Thyme, Lemon and Artichoke Hearts

Ingredients:

  • 30 to 35 kalamata  and green olives, pittted
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup walnuts or pecans
  • 1 (6 ounce) jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 pound whole-wheat linguine or spaghetti

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients except spaghetti in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse on and off until the mixture resembles a chunky puree; do not over process.  Transfer to a large pasta serving bowl.

Stir in a generous amount of salt into a large pot of boiling water.  Add the pasta and cook at a full boil, stirring frequently, until the pasta is al dente.  Reserve about a 1/2 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta.  Toss the pasta into the serving bowl with the olive mixture.  Add half the reserved cooking water (1/4 cup) or enough to make a sauce that clings to the pasta but is not dry.  Toss well.  Serve immediately.  Enjoy!

As an alternative, cube 2 or 3 grilled chicken breasts and add to the pasta to make a great one dish meal.

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Categories : Veggies and Sides

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