Whole Wheat Spaghetti With Bell Peppers and Red Wine


I love whole wheat pasta and often make it when I crave for a meal in jiffy. It is wholesome complete meal and one can be creative with it by changing the ingredients as per the mood of the day and the season. Packed with nutrition, this pasta, made from durum wheat, is any day better than the refined pasta. It has more dietary fiber too. Spigodoro wholewheat pasta and spaghetti are made from 100% organic whole wheat. The taste is sublime and it can be paired with any kind of sauce.

The market is flooded with juicy vibrant sweet bell peppers these days and I decided to do a variation of spaghetti using garlic cloves, tomatoes, and red and yellow bell peppers. I sometimes add chicken breast/ Italian sausages, even our every desi kebabs to it. The secret ingredient in this dish is the red wine. I had an Argentine Trapiche Reserva Malbec lying at home and used it liberally. It tastes uniquely delicious. The wine has a rich ruby red color and a sweet long lasting aftertaste. It was experimental but exquisite pairing.

To make this delicious spaghetti you will need:

Whole Wheat Spaghetti – 250 gm

Sweet Bell Peppers – 1 Red 1 Yellow (Medium Size)

Tomatoes – 4 Large Plum Tomatoes or 2 Large Tomatoes + Half Cup Fresh Tomato Puree

Garlic Cloves – 4-6 (Large) (Slow Roasted)

Red Onion – 1 Large

Mixed Dried Herbs  – 1 Teaspoon (Optional)

Fresh Cilantro/Coriander Greens –  1/4 Cup (finely chopped)

Fresh Thyme – 1 Teaspoon

Olive Oil – 2 Table Spoon

Salt and freshly crushed Black Pepper – To Taste

Red Wine – Your favorite 🙂 About 100 -150 ml

Cheese – Your Favorite ( I used Britannia Cheese but I normally prefer feta cheese with this)

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Method :

Whole wheat Spaghetti takes a little longer to soften. Boil the spaghetti in a big pot of boiling water with a little salt  and a few drops of olive oil  and cook as instructed on the pack or till al dente. Once done strain the spaghetti and rinse under cold water so they don’t stick together. Keep a bowlful of the starch water from the spaghetti to use later in the sauce.

As the spaghetti cooks, prepare the sauce.

Wash, deseed the bell peppers and dice them in thin slices or small cubes.

Dice onion in thin half moon slices.

Dice 2 large tomatoes in cubes ( discard the seeds if you wish)

Puree rest of the tomatoes.

Slow roast the cloves of garlic. (You can drizzle the garlic cloves with olive oil, cover them in foil and roast in oven for 30 minutes or till the center of the clove becomes soft. It will fill your home with a delicious aroma. Garlic is very healthy so use it generously in your cooking.  This time I just roasted them with skin on slow fire and pounded them in a pestle and mortar along with some black peppercorns. Remember , it is a meal in a jiffy and I was very hungry.)

Now that our ingredients are ready, take a large frying pan and put it on medium heat. Add olive oil, let it heat a little then add some crushed peppercorns and pounded garlic. Let it sweat till it becomes slightly golden.

Now, add the onion and let it sweat along with a little salt. Once the onions become soft and translucent add the bell peppers and stir. We don’t want the bell peppers to become mushy so stir them till they become a little crisp (If you use green pepper too then remember it will take  more time to cook so put it first) .

Once the peppers are cooked a little add the tomato puree, more salt and pepper, coriander greens, thyme and give it a good stir. Add tomato cubes now so that they retain their texture.

Add some of the starch water you saved earlier and let the mixture cook for at least 5-10 min on medium heat.

Once done add the wine. Don’t forget to keep sipping the wine while the meal is cooking. 😀

You can add/reduce the quantity of wine as per your taste. It is also optional. The dish will taste awesome even without it.

Cook for another minute and then add the spaghetti to it and stir so that the sauce covers every inch of the spaghetti or pasta if you using that.

Serve hot with sprinkle of grated cheese or crumble of feta cheese. Don’t over do as it will kill the flavours.

Garnish with sprigs of fresh mint or coriander.

If you are adding veggies to the main dish (mushrooms or spring onions) add them before adding the tomato puree.

Same with sausages or chicken. Prepare them in a different skillet or pan and add them before the tomato puree.

Enjoy this delicious colourful meal any time of the day.

Bon Appetit

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Recipe- Healthy Whole Wheat Spaghetti With Red Kidney Beans Sauce


 

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Whole wheat spaghetti/ pasta  is one of my favorites when it comes to a “meal in jiffy”. It is healthy and easy to prepare. I use Colavita but there are many brands which make 100% whole durum wheat pasta.  I prefer it over the white refined pasta for its immense nutritive value.

This spaghetti is made with red kidney beans in tomato sauce. Red kidney beans are good source of cholesterol lowering fiber and when combined with whole grains they offer fat-free high quality protein. They have many other nutritional benefits too. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene and have great amount of Vitamin C and beta carotene apart from other benefits. Whether it is whole, crushed, diced or paste, tomatoes provide a healthy base for many dishes with the right balance of sweetness and acidity. So here we have a good combination of carbohydrates and proteins in a healthy quick meal. Enjoy!

 

For the Red Kidney Bean Sauce you need 

Small Kashmiri Red kidney beans – 1/2 cup (boiled)

Tomatoes-  4 big Red ripe ones

Garlic – 4 big cloves

Corriander or cilantro – 1/4 cup

Red Onion – 1 big

Salt  to taste

Black pepper – freshly crushed to taste

Green chilli – 2 medium (depending on taste and sharpness of the chillies)

Chilly flakes – to taste

Tomato ketchup / – 4 tablespoon

Tomato chilli sauce – 2 table-spoon or to taste. (optional)

Other Ingredients 

Whole Wheat Spaghetti or any other pasta – 1/4 packet  (about 100 gm)

Olive oil – 2 tablespoon

Coriander – to garnish

Spring onion to garnish

To make the sauce 

Wash and pressure cook / boil the red kidney beans with a little salt till soft. Keep in mind that they should be soft and  cooked properly  but not squishy. Blanch, peal  and  crush tomatoes or just grate them after removing the seeds. cut the onion and garlic very fine. Grind the green chillies with a bit of salt. I usually grind them in Mortar and pestle with salt and let the mixture dry completely. Then I store it to use in various things.

Take a pan and put it on medium heat. Add olive oil. Add finely chopped garlic and let them roast to a delicate golden brown color then add finely chopped onion. Cook them till translucent then add grated or blanched tomatoes. stir properly and let the mixture cook on medium heat. Add salt and pepper. Oregano  and chilli flakes if desired.

You have to be careful with salt as it is added at various stages. We don’t want to ruin thedish, do we? 🙂

Once the tomatoes getcooked properly add the tomato sauce and the chilli sauce. Stir and lower the flame.

Add the boiled kidney beans and gently mix the sauce and the beans so that the beans don’t get crushed.

Add cilantro/ coriander and finely chopped spring onion ( just two tablespoon)

Let the  sauce simmer for sometime. We don’t need to dry the beans sauce.

Prepare the Spaghetti 

Whole wheat spaghetti takes a long time to cook so before you begin with other things do keep the spaghetti ready to add.

For that, boil the spaghetti in a big pot of boiling water with a little salt  anda few drops of olive oil  and cook as instructed on the pack or till al dente. Once done strain the spaghetti and rinse under cold water so they don’t stick together.

Add the spaghetti to the red kidney beans tomato sauce and toss gently till the sauce lavishly covers the spaghetti.

Turn off the stove and serve it hot with cilantro or coriander garnish. Toss a few chopped spring onions if you like them. You can add herbs of your choice in it but I prefer it rustic and simple.

You can also serve it the way I have. Layer the pasta and Bean sauce instead or mixing them together and garnish. 🙂


 

Garnish Tip –

You can make florets of the spring onions by cutting the white root leaving a two-inch stem. Slice the brown hairy root at the top.  Now slice the white part from the top to bottom lengthwise leaving a little space at the end . Place them in a bowl of ice-cold water and refrigerate for two hours till the leaves curl to form a floret. It looks fabulous as a garnish.