Whole grain pasta is one of our favorite go-to meals. Doc’s favorite pasta dish, Whole Grain linguine with Roasted Asparagus and tomatoes, deserves to be shared with the world. It is exquisite in flavor and presentation. This dish doesn’t stop at looking pretty and tasting good, though. It is remarkably good for you. In fact it is filled with vegetables, nuts, and whole grain pasta delivering high protein, Omega-3s, tons of fiber (over 25% of your daily requirement) as wells as vitamins and nutrients.
1 10 oz package of whole grain linguine (such as Barilla which is sold in most major grocery stores)
12 oz grape tomatoes
3/4 pounds of asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
5 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 Tablespoons freshly grates Parmigiano-Reggiono cheese
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup of pasta cooking water
Boil and salt a kettle of water to cook the pasta. Pre-heat the oven to 425
Place the asparagus and tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle vegetables with 1/2 a teaspoon of sea salt and toss to coat. Roast on the top rack until the tomatoes have collapsed and the asparagus is bright green and tender. (approximately 15-20 minutes)
While the vegetables are roasting put the almonds in a skillet and toast them, tossing continuously until they are toasty brown and aromatic.
Reserve 2 tablespoons of almonds for garnish and put the remaining almonds in a food processor.
Cut the tips of the asparagus off and set aside. Chop the remaining asparagus into small pieces and add to the food processor along with the basil, paragiano-reggiano, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, garlic and 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Pulse until a thick pesto paste forms. (about 10 seconds)
Season to your tastes and transfer to a large bowl.
Cook the linguine in the boiling water according to package directions until it is al dente.
Drain the pasta and reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
Add the pasta to the pesto paste and toss to coat. If necessary, add some or all the reserved cooking water to loosen the pesto to a saucy consistency. Continue to toss until pasta is fully coated. Garnish with the tomatoes and asparagus tips and 2 tablespoons of reserved almonds.
Serving suggestions: serve with a lovely green salad or a beautiful piece salmon baked with lemon and onion. Don’t forget whole grain crusty bread with olive oil spread on top and toasted to a golden brown under the broiler. Finish the bread off with a spread of goat cheese. You will be so happy!
This recipe is loosely adapted from Cook Fresh magazine by Fine Cooking. (cool website, by the way) I have added health and flavor to the recipe and the changes take the dish from bland to phenomenal. Enjoy!