Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Savoring the Evening Rush Hour: Whole Wheat Pasta with Kale and Toasted Hazelnut Breadcrumbs

Life is busy these days for the Cowie Clan and I am sure for you too. Our rush hour hits around 5 to 6 p.m. when all of the day’s activities seem to collide- the dog needs to be fed and taken out, the kids need to be carted to and from sporting events, a few errands need to be run and dinner needs to be prepared. It’s no wonder so many families rely on fast food on a regular basis to feed their busy families.

Don’t get me wrong- I am thankful for the fast food backup on those evenings that there simply is no time for a sit down dinner. But those occasional times that we do the drive-thru I cant help but feel empty, as if something is missing. The kids were fed, but not nourished. The hurry up and eat mentality does not allow us to slow down, even for a few minutes, to chew our food and chat about our day.

Rather than relying on fast food, I try to look at the week ahead and have a plan for a super quick meal for those days that I know are going to be chaos in motion. Making a meal such as Whole Wheat Pasta with Kale and Toasted Hazelnut Breadcrumbs takes all of 12 minutes from fridge to table. The speedy tip is to use refrigerated fresh pasta. 

It is healthy, tasty, and offers a chance for us to share...a true Happy Meal!

Whole Wheat Pasta with Kale and Toasted Hazelnut Breadcrumbs 
(recipe adapted from Sept ’12 issue of Rachael Ray Magazine)

1. In a large pot, bring water and a pinch of salt to a boil. Add 2 cups chopped kale and cook about 3 minutes.  Remove kale to plate, and add 1 package of fresh pasta (Midwest Pasta Company) to same water. Cook until al dente; drain but reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water.
2. Meanwhile in a medium skillet, heat about 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Sauté chopped garlic (Elixer Farm) for about 1 minute, then add ¾ cups panko and ¼ cup chopped hazelnuts; toast until golden, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, add pepper, and ¼ cup chopped parsley. Remove to plate.
3. In same skillet, add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, stir in 1 can of anchovies (with oil) and stir until anchovies melt.
4. Combine the cooked pasta, the reserved water, kale and anchovies. Season with nutmeg and a dash of red chili pepper. Top with breadcrumb topping.

Question: What is your favorite "fast food" meal?

until next time...


  1. This sounds perfect! I love how quickly this tasty and healthy meal comes together!

  2. I think I'm going to try this as soon as I get my first bunch of fall kale -- I have hazelnuts in the house and I always have anchovies, which I buy to make Caesar salads. I might even try it sooner with arugula instead of kale -- thanks!

  3. Hey! This blog post made it on the Daily Buzz Food Top 9 today!! http://food.dailybuzz.com/a-healthy-dose-of-kale


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