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Beatriz Dacosta Photo by: Beatriz Dacosta

Whole-Wheat Pasta Shells with Spicy Tomato Pesto and Winter Greens

Whole-wheat pastas have a firmer, chewier texture than white-flour pastas, and a robust flavor that stands up well to strong-flavored olive oil-based sauces or pestos.

Health MARCH 2002

  • Yield: Serves 5 (serving size: 2 cups)

Ingredients

  • Pesto:
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Greens:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cups trimmed Swiss chard, sliced into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pasta:
  • 8 cups hot cooked (about 4 cups uncooked) whole-wheat pasta shells
  • 4 teaspoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation

To prepare pesto, combine boiling water and sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl; let stand 30 minutes or until soft. Drain tomatoes in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup liquid.

Drop tomatoes, almonds, cheese, basil, and garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Keeping processor on, add salt and red pepper. Slowly pour 1 1/2 tablespoons oil through food chute; process until well-blended, scraping sides. Add reserved soaking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until mixture appears smooth. Set aside.

To prepare greens, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add Swiss chard; stir-fry 1 minute or until leaves turn bright green. Add water, salt, and pepper; cover and cook 2 minutes.

Combine pesto and hot cooked pasta in a large bowl; toss well. Add greens mixture; toss well. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 355
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Fat: 12.4g
  • Saturated fat: 2.6g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 7.1g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.6g
  • Protein: 14.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 51.9g
  • Fiber: 6.6g
  • Cholesterol: 5mg
  • Iron: 2.9mg
  • Sodium: 608mg
  • Calcium: 147mg
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Whole-Wheat Pasta Shells with Spicy Tomato Pesto and Winter Greens recipe

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