60-Minute Supper: Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Greens

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In the restaurant world, pastry chefs might be the best source for healthy eating: we all want to do the opposite of our jobs at home, and they need a way to counteract all the sugar they consume at work. 

Caroline Schiff is the Executive Pastry Chef at Maysville in New York City and Kenton's, in New Orleans. She's also an athlete with little time to spare, so she needs to be creative about what she makes at home. This dish is her go-to.

 

"It provides whole grains, fiber, veggies, healthy fats, and a touch of dairy and nuts for some protein and richness." Schiff says, adding "it's great fuel if you're training for a marathon or triathlon." Or just need something that won’t make you feel gross on a weeknight. "You won't miss the meat," she promises. 

A bowl of this pasta could be your entire dinner. If you were feeling ambitious you could put together a salad. Or you could just throw another handful of greens into the pasta.

Garlicky Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Greens, Olives, Pine Nuts, and Fresh Ricotta 

Makes 2 servings

Time: 40 minutes

 Ingredients 

  • 1/2 lb dry, whole wheat spaghetti
  • 4 smashed garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup pitted, chopped kalamata or large green olives
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)
  • 3 large handfuls chopped greens such as kale, Swiss chard, broccoli rabe, beet greens, or collards
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Directions 

  1. Bring a large pot of water seasoned with about 2 tbsp of salt to a boil. Set a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven on the stove with the olive oil.
  2. With the back of your knife or your hand, crush the garlic cloves to remove the papers, and chop very roughly with your knife. Add the garlic to the oil and turn the heat to medium high. When the garlic begins to sizzle, add the roughly chopped olives, pine nuts, and chili flakes, if using, and reduce heat to low, stirring every 30 seconds or so with a heatproof spatula or large spoon.
  3. When the water reaches a boil, add the spaghetti and stir. Cook for about 10–12 minutes, depending on how al dente you like it.
  4. Add your greens to the skillet, return to high heat, and add 1 ladle full of the pasta water, stirring to wilt the greens. Reduce the heat to low once the greens are fully wilted and the pasta water has mostly evaporated.
  5. Set up a colander and strain pasta when cooked to your liking. Transfer the pasta to the skillet with the greens and add the Parmesan or pecorino, tossing together with tongs to evenly distribute the greens. At this point, adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Divide between two bowls and top with fresh ricotta and some fresh cracked pepper. Leftovers are great for lunch the next day.