Red Whole Wheat Penne

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.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 2 cups)
Recipe from Cooking Light

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Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 318
  • Calories from fat: 38%
  • Fat: 13.6g
  • Saturated fat: 1.6g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 8g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 3.3g
  • Protein: 9.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 47.6g
  • Fiber: 6.7g
  • Cholesterol: 1mg
  • Iron: 2.3mg
  • Sodium: 325mg
  • Calcium: 71mg

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

Preparation

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