I absolutely love warm, comforting and decadent food during winter; there’s nothing like being rugged up on the couch with a bowl of hot soup or a mug of tea to make you appreciate the colder months. But, being out of soup and too hungry for a tea, I decided to turn to something that ticks all the satisfaction boxes – pasta.
Now don’t run away! Carbs are scary, I know! But guess what, they’re not so bad if you don’t intend to eat a serving for four. When I do eat pasta, I try to choose the wholemeal types. They retain more of the nutrients than white pasta and lead to a steady release of energy. However, today I decided to brush up on my food product knowledge and try out this spelt stuff that everyone seems to be going on about. I actually don’t know much about spelt but I do know that if you mention it enough times, I will apparently buy it. Damn you, marketing geniuses! Is it healthier for me? I have no idea. It’s part of the wheat family and yes, it contains gluten. Sounds like regular pasta to me but hey, I’m willing to try it and see what happens.
The recipe I used came straight off the San Remo pasta box (slightly modified) and I happened to have some leftover green olives and anchovies sitting in my fridge so it made perfect sense! Now, the health conscious among us might freak out a little at the amount of oil that is being used to make the tapenade but I assure you, you’re not going to become miraculously obese after eating this. In fact, I only used 2 tablespoons of tapenade to flavour my pasta and it was more than enough! The recipe does include full-fat cheese so if you want to reduce the calories, you might choose to remove it or substitute it with a low-fat parmesan cheese.
The flavour of this dish is amazing! And it’s a great way to get an extra couple serves of veggies into your day if you pile the pasta onto a generous bowl of rocket and baby spinach. Check out the recipe below 🙂
Spelt Spirals with Green Olive and Rocket Tapenade (Serves 4)
250g Spelt pasta spirals
1 cup pitted green olives (I used stuffed pimento olives and it worked out fine)
2 cups of mixed baby spinach & rocket
1/2 cup grated pecorino cheese
3 anchovy fillets
1 tsp capers
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup olive oil
2 cups of mixed baby spinach & rocket (to serve)
- Cook pasta as per packet directions.
- Place olives, rocket, pecorino cheese, anchovy fillets, capers and lemon juice into a food processor and whizz it up til combined.
- Add olive oil gradually until it forms a paste consistency. This is your tapenade.
- Strain pasta. Fill a bowl with 2 cups of mixed baby spinach and rocket.
- Serve a 1/4 of the cooked pasta in one bowl, topped with 2-3 tbsp of tapenade and finish with a grating of pecorino. You should have enough left over to serve 3 more people (and probably have some tapenade leftover).