Friday, March 27, 2009

Whole Wheat Linguine with Cauliflower and Tomato Sauce

This is a hearty, satisfying and almost meaty-textured dish. It's inexpensive, incredibly nutritious, and full of fiber.

Cauliflower is a true "superfood" - rich in folate (for cell growth and replication, especially important for women of child-bearing age), selenium (for immune system support), and allicin (for heart health). Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts have been shown to prevent certain cancers.

Tomatoes are also fantastic for your body - one serving provides almost half of your RDA of Vitamin C, as well as lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. They are also rich in Vitamin A, iron and potassium.

Toss together a crisp green salad loaded with fresh raw vegetables to serve with your pasta, and you'll have an incredibly healthy, cholesterol-reducing dinner on the table in about 20 minutes!

You will need:
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 pound whole wheat linguine
2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
olive oil
fresh (or slightly stale) bread crumbs, tossed with olive oil and toasted in a hot oven
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions. (Whole wheat pastas vary wildly in cooking times. I am a fan of DiCecco, as well as BioNaturae brand whole wheat pastas.)

Meanwhile, steam cauliflower florets until tender. Remove from steamer and chop finely. Heat cauliflower in a large sauce pan with tomato sauce.

Stir chopped parsley into bread crumbs and set aside.

Save a little pasta cooking water, then drain well. Add pasta to the tomato sauce and cauliflower mixture, and toss over medium heat for a minute or two. If it seems dry, add a little of the pasta cooking water. Turn off the heat, and drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste with salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper.

Serve in heated bowls, garnished with parsley-bread crumb mixture.

Depending on your appetite, this dish will serve four to six.

Tomorrow: focaccia pizza.

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