Red Wine Spaghetti with Broccoli

If you’re reading this on my website, look up at the top of the page. Notice the last picture in the banner? Looks tasty, right? It totally was.

Except I never posted an entry for that picture! It was just over a year ago I took that picture- just when I was trying to finish up school and look for a job. It was a scary and stressful time. So scary, I forgot to blog most of the time!

This was a delicious dish, and quite easy to make. The recipe comes from Michael Chiarello, and guess what? It’s already vegan, provided you leave off the parmesan cheese, or use a vegan parmesan (or nutritional yeast).

Let’s talk nutrition in this recipe.

First, I always use whole grain (usually whole wheat) pasta instead of white pasta. It works just fine in this recipe. Whole wheat pasta gives you way more fiber, plus a healthy dose of protein. It is a food that should generally be eaten in moderation though, as it is a processed food.

Olive oil. Olive oil isn’t bad for you per se, but given the amount called for in this recipe it would work out to a little less then a tablespoon of oil per serving. That’s a lot of calories that aren’t doing anything for you, other than enhancing flavor. I say use just enough to brown your garlic and get the vegetables/spices moving in the pan, and use a little extra pasta water to loosen it up and make it into a “sauce.” Try a well-seasoned cast iron skillet and about a teaspoon of oil to make this dish low-fat. Or, use the well-seasoned cast iron skillet and a little vegetable broth instead to make it no added fat, which would be even better!

Red wine. There are some dubious health benefits associated with red wine, but I must say, I don’t think you’re going to get any of them here, as the wine will be cooked, and may lose some of the antioxidants. However, it’s really what makes this dish, and it’s adding much less in terms of calories that the olive oil would add. Don’t worry about alcohol content; it will cook off. Want some antioxidants? How about some grapes for dessert?

For ease, I used frozen broccoli instead of the broccoli rabe. I usually have a package or two hanging out in my freezer. Broccoli is chock full of vitamins and minerals, with little in terms of calories or fats.

Want to up your nutritional content? Serve this with a salad!

red wine spaghetti with salad in background

I love these colors!

bento of leftovers

Served with Gardein Scallopini and a mini-salad.

It makes for a pretty lunch the next day, too. I remember eating that particular lunch between classes! Frozen broccoli, at least, does not hold up well to reheating- but you can always bring some frozen broccoli separately, heat it up, and then add it to the dish.

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