March 25, 2012

Food and Wine Whole-Wheat Linguine with Walnuts, Orange and Chile

As you all know I love pasta and cheese. Separately, together it doesn't matter, I love them both. I have tried unsuccessfully to get my family to try whole-wheat pasta since it became readily available a few years back. Every couple of months I try a new recipe hoping that they will change their minds and realize that they do in fact like whole-wheat pasta. I shouldn't be surprised at their resistance. When I first met my husband he thought that bacon and bacon grease were a major food group. Everything that he cooked was fried in bacon grease and somehow he weighed 130 pounds. Fast forward almost 10 years and I have successfully transitioned him into using olive oil instead of bacon fat and to admit that bacon is a sometimes food. Whole-wheat pasta has still been a struggle. He has slowly progressed to the point that there are a few recipes using whole-wheat pasta that he appreciates and I make semi-frequently. The April issue of Food and Wine magazine had a recipe for Whole-Wheat Linguine with Walnuts, Orange and Chile which looked very simple and I was hopeful that my family would enjoy it regardless of the whole-wheat pasta.

This recipe has 9 ingredients. It takes 25 minutes of total time and makes 4 servings. I had to make a few substitutions to the ingredients due to their lack of availability. Calabrian chiles are not available in my area, so as suggested by the recipe I substituted crushed red pepper. I doubled the recipe, so I used 2 tablespoons of crushed red peppers to substitute for the 2 tablespoons of chiles. The taste was nice, but I thought a little overly spicy. I would suggest cutting back on the total amount of crushed red pepper if substituting. I toasted the walnuts on the stove top instead of the oven. I find it easier to toast nuts on the stove rather than turning on my gas oven and heating up my entire kitchen. I followed the remainder of the recipe as written.

I am happy to report that my husband and two kids ate this dish and were pleased with the whole-wheat pasta. The flavor was simple and spicy. The orange wasn't very noticeable, so if you want a strong citrus flavor I would suggest increasing the amount of orange peel. My husband took the leftovers for work the next day and reported that they re-heated well. Overall, a simple pasta recipe that my non-whole-wheat pasta loving family enjoyed.

For the recipe go to Whole-Wheat Linguine with Walnuts, Orange and Chile.
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