Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
TIP For whole-grain pasta with flavor and texture most similar to traditional semolina pasta, look for one made from a mix of grain and legume flours
FARFALLE WITH ONION, ASPARAGUS, BLUE CHEESE AND WALNUTS
8 ounces whole grain farfalle (bow tie) pasta
1 pound asparagus, cut in 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 cups chopped red onion
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
1. Cook the pasta in plenty of lightly salted boiling water according to package directions. Two minutes before it is fully cooked, add the asparagus. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a large nonstick skillet until they are just aromatic and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet; add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring, until onion is very soft and nearly translucent, about 7 to 9 minutes.
4. Toss the pasta with the onion, walnuts and blue cheese; stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 630 calories, 22 g protein, 59 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 37 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 266 mg sodium
8 ounces whole grain penne
1/3 cup golden raisins
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pound beet (or other) greens, torn in 3-inch pieces
1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 ounces part-skim mozzarella, cut in 1/2-inch dice (about 3/4 cup)
1. Cook pasta according to package directions in plenty of lightly salted boiling water; add raisins and drain.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet set over medium. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds; add greens and cook, stirring, until bright green and wilted, 3 minutes. Stir in olives and vinegar; toss with pasta.
3. Stir in remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil; add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the mozzarella. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 471 calories, 18 g protein, 58 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 20 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 633 mg sodium
PEANUT NOODLES WITH CHICKEN
8 ounces whole grain linguine
1 cup pre-shredded carrots
2 cups snow peas
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Asian chili paste
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1. Cook linguine in lightly salted boiling water according to package directions. Just before draining, add carrots, snow peas and red pepper to pot; drain in a colander and toss the hot noodles with the chicken.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in small saucepan. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, 30 seconds, or until no longer raw looking. Add peanut butter, hoisin, vinegar, chili paste and broth and cook, stirring, until smooth and thick.
3. Toss with the noodles and scallions and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving: 581 calories, 39 g protein, 64 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 19 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 667 mg sodium