January 4th is National Spaghetti Day but that doesn’t mean we have to load up on carbs and rich meat and tomato sauces. In the past, whole-wheat spaghetti tasted a lot like the box it came in. Much has changed in the quality and taste of whole-grain spaghetti. And this is great news because whole-grain spaghetti, compared to its white-flour cousin, is a much better source of the fiber and nutrients that get stripped away when grains are refined. Try this super-easy, super-fresh and light spaghetti tonight for dinner on National Spaghetti Day and taste how good whole grains and fresh veggies can be.
This recipe will make enough spaghetti for two people:
1/2 pound whole-grain spaghetti (recommended: Barilla)
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces fresh mushrooms (buy these already sliced or whole and slice them at home)
2 garlic cloves
2 Roma tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup dry sherry or dry white wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
• Wash the zucchini under cold running water. Cut off and discard the stem end. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut each half in half again lengthwise. Cut crosswise into half-inch chunks.
• Peel the onion. Cut in half and wrap one half up and store in the fridge for another use. Dice the other half.
• If you bought pre-sliced mushrooms, you don’t need to do anything else with them at this point. If you bought whole mushrooms, rinse them under cold running water. Cut off and discard the tough stems. Slice the mushrooms into 1/4-inch thick slices.
• Peel the garlic cloves and mince finely.
• Wash the Roma tomatoes under cold running water. Cut out and discard the top stem part. Dice the tomatoes.
• Heat a large pot of water to boiling over high heat. When boiling, add 1/2 teaspoon salt to the water and the spaghetti. Give it a good stir, lower the heat and set the timer for the appropriate number of minutes on the box.
• In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil.
• When hot, add the zucchini, onion, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté until veggies are tender but not soggy, about 4 minutes.
• Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes and sauté for another minute.
• Add the dry sherry or white wine. Stir up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, lower the heat and simmer until the spaghetti is cooked.
• When the timer for the spaghetti goes off, remove from heat and drain well in a colander.
• Add the drained spaghetti to the veggie mixture in the skillet and toss together with tongs to coat the spaghetti.
• Add the grated parmesan cheese and continue to toss with tongs until well mixed.
• Transfer to serving plates and serve with extra parmesan cheese.
Served with a sliced baguette and a glass of wine, Whole-grain Spaghetti with Fresh Veggies makes a delicious, nutritious meal.
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