I’ve been searching for a long time for a really good brand of whole wheat pasta. Who knew that I’d have to travel all the way to Eataly to find a brand that my carnivores liked, rather than tolerated!
Yes, a recent trip to Manhattan allowed me to experience the sheer magic of all the Italian brands at Eataly. I was literally overwhelmed by aisle after aisle of pasta and chose several that are difficult for me to find down here in the Carolina hinterlands.
Although I’ve occasionally seen the Garofalo brand of white durum flour spaghetti and fettuccine, I was delighted to discover unusual shapes of Garofalo whole wheat pasta at Eataly.
Since I didn’t have room for a vast array of pasta in my suitcase, I chose Casarecce, a lovely free form pasta that looks a little like gemelli, but a bit less intertwined.
With an abundance of lovely organic broccoli from Absolute Organics in my fridge, I created a veggie-rich sauce that nicely balanced the more substantial taste of the whole wheat Casarecce.
It’s worth mentioning that Garofalo has an excellent line of gluten-free pasta (made with corn, quinoa, and rice), as well as a line of organic pasta, both of which include the unusual Casarecce shape.
And, of course, now that I know that Eataly has such a fabulous selection of pasta – and that Eataly offers free shipping for on line orders over $30, you can bet your bottom dollar that I will be trying more Italian products that aren’t readily available down South.
BTW, although the photo shows a light dusting of grated Percorino Romano, this dish could easily be served without it when your vegan friends come to dinner.
- 1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced in half, pole to pole
- 4–5 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound organic broccoli cut in very small florets, with stems reserved
- 1 organic onion, finely minced
- 1 small organic red pepper, diced
- 2 gloves garlic, pressed
- 2 Field Roast Italian sausages, quartered lengthwise and chopped into very small pieces (or pulsed a few times in the food processor)
- ¼ cup white wine
- 1 pound Garofalo whole wheat pasta
- Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
- ½ lemon, juiced
- Pecorino Romano freshly grated cheese, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick foil. Toss the sliced cherry tomatoes and whole garlic cloves with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and roast them in the oven for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack. Turn off the oven.
- As the tomatoes are roasting, prep the broccoli. Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Once it is boiling, add 2 teaspoons of salt and any portion of the broccoli stems that you're not using in this dish. The broccoli stems will help to flavor the water, so just let them boil while you finish up your prep work.
- Steam the broccoli over the boiling pot of water or in a steamer for 6–8 minutes. Remove to a colander in the sink, and add some ice to stop cooking and preserve the broccoli's fresh green color. Remove the broccoli stems from the pot and add them to your compost pile
- Heat a large skillet and add 1–2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sauté the onion for 5–6 minutes, followed by the diced red pepper for 3-4 minutes, and then the pressed garlic. Add the sausage pieces and cook for 2–3 minutes before you add the wine. When the wine is absorbed, turn off the heat, and cover the pan.
- Add the steamed broccoli to the sausage and onion mixture, and cook the pasta in the pot of boiling pasta water according to package directions.
- Once the pasta is al dente, reserve about a cup of pasta water, and then drain the pasta in a colander.
- Toss the pasta with the sausage, onion and broccoli mixture, the roasted tomatoes and garlic, and the lemon juice. Add a few tablespoons of the pasta water if the sauce needs thinning.
- Taste and correct seasonings with some sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and perhaps a bit more olive oil.
- If you’re not serving this to a vegan audience, feel free to top with a little grated Pecorino Romano.
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