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Red Whole Wheat Penne

Yield 4 servings (serving size: about 2 cups)
Probably the main foreign influence on Ethiopian cuisine is Italian. Pasta saltata is a common dish, cooked with rich butter, olive oil, pasta, berbere spice blend, and fiery chiles. This healthful version with whole wheat pasta uses almonds to create a pestolike sauce, and the red color comes from the hot harissa condiment. And just like the traditional Genovese version of the dish, this pasta is served with potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound peeled Yukon gold potatoes (about 2)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup blanched whole almonds
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 1 large)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups hot cooked whole wheat penne (about 12 ounces uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
  • 1/4 cup chopped arugula
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil

Nutrition Information

  • calories 318
  • caloriesfromfat 38 %
  • fat 13.6 g
  • satfat 1.6 g
  • monofat 8 g
  • polyfat 3.3 g
  • protein 9.3 g
  • carbohydrate 47.6 g
  • fiber 6.7 g
  • cholesterol 1 mg
  • iron 2.3 mg
  • sodium 325 mg
  • calcium 71 mg

How to Make It

  1. Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain potatoes in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 1/2 cups liquid. Cool potatoes slightly, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet over low heat. Add almonds, shallots, and garlic to pan; cook 8 minutes or until the almonds are golden, stirring often. Remove from heat; cool.

  3. Place almond mixture in a food processor; add remaining 3 tablespoons oil, juice, cheese, harissa, and salt; process 1 minute or until well blended and almost smooth. With the processor on, slowly pour 1 1/2 cups reserved cooking liquid through food chute; process 1 minute or until smooth.

  4. Combine pasta, potatoes, and almond mixture in a large bowl, tossing gently. Fold in arugula; sprinkle with basil.

Aquavit, New York, NY