Friday, March 27, 2015

I get worried just thinking about running out of pasta.  We are a pasta loving household.  It's quick, easy and perfect for so many dishes.  I was super happy when a box of pasta arrived at my door.  Even better, it's super, extra healthy!

Being a busy person, lunchtimes of grazing and snacking without sitting down to a proper meal is a common occurrence.  This pasta give me the perfect excuse to eat properly at lunchtime.  I love this pasta cooked al dente and then tossed with good butter and lots of black pepper and shavings of Parmesan cheese.  Add a handful of rocket and it's a perfect lunch time treat.  


Catelli® Healthy Harvest® Ancient Grains pasta blends 100 per cent Canadian whole wheat with five wholesome ancient grains: quinoa, teff,amaranth, millet and sorghum.

The health benefits of eating 100 per cent whole grain wheat have been touted for years, but what makes the other grains so healthy? Here’s the ancient secret:

Quinoa: Dating back to the 13th century South American Inca Empire, quinoa is high in fibre, protein and minerals – including magnesium, potassium, zinc and iron – and low on the glycemic index.

Amaranth: Native to the Americas and prized by Aztec civilization, amaranth is rich in protein, containing all the essential amino acids, key vitamins, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus and iron.

Teff: Originating in Ethiopia and Eritrea between 4,000 BCE and 1,000 BCE, this poppy seed-sized grain is high in protein, fibre, calcium, thiamin and iron.

Sorghum: Domesticated in Northeastern Africa more than 5,000 years ago, sorghum – a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin, thiamin and magnesium – is known to support digestive health, help fight cardiovascular disease and help control blood sugar levels.

Millet: Cultivated 4,000 years ago from wild West African grass, this nutty-flavoured grain is known to be heart healthy, containing a high level of protein, magnesium and niacin. Alkalizing to the body, millet is considered one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available.

I have tried to feed my house brown pasta before and I was given back the look similar to that when you have to eat cardboard!!  Its was an epic fail!  The perfect thing about this pasta is it tastes just like regular pasta but it has super healthy stuff in it so its a win win for everyone!  I cooled some of the pasta and tossed it with some pesto to create the perfect lunchbox meal for my boys at school.  


Top 10 Whole Grain Pasta Cooking Tips from Celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford

1. Watch your cooking time: Pasta should be cooked according to the cook time guide on the package to achieve the ideal al dente texture. For a professional twist, cut one to two minutes off the suggested cooking time, drain and finish off cooking your pasta in the sauce.

2. Skip the oil: There is no need to add oil to your cooking water. Despite popular belief, this actually takes away from the pasta’s final texture and ability to adhere to the sauce. Skip the oil and embrace the starchiness of your pasta.

3. Water your pasta: When cooking pasta, use a large pot. As basic as it sounds, it will make a difference in the outcome of your pasta. You will need one litre of water to about 100 grams of pasta. Using a large pot will give the pasta room to boil and help keep the noodles from sticking together.

4. Think salty sea: Add a generous amount of sea salt to the boiling water to ensure your pasta is well seasoned. You may even want to taste the water before adding your pasta to make sure there is enough salt.

5. Avoid rinsing: For hot pasta dishes, never rinse the pasta after cooking in order to retain the starch and enable warm sauces to better adhere to the pasta.

6. Create the perfect pair: Delicate pasta shapes go well with delicate sauces, and heartier, ridged shapes pair well with richer sauces and ragus. For example, try long thin pasta, such as spaghetti, with a classic marinara sauce. Penne, ziti or rigatoni lend themselves to thicker sauces with more texture, such as a ragu Bolognese.

7. Embrace the texture: Whole grain pasta has a hearty, firm texture that’s perfect for cold or chilled recipes and marinates well in tangy dressings. The firmness of the noodles also provides a good base for both crunchy and juicy fresh vegetables.

8. Top it off: With a nutty, rich flavour, whole grain pasta can take on other strong, complex flavours. Ingredients that pair well with whole grain pasta include garlic, chili, anchovies, rich pesto sauces, and bitter or dark leafy greens such as kale, Swiss chard and radicchio.

9. Take the heat: When preparing hot pasta recipes, keep your serving plates or bowls warm in an oven set to a low temperature until you’re ready to serve. This will ensure that your final dish stays nice and hot.

10. Crank up the flavour: Whole grain pasta is an easy base on which to build a healthy and delicious meal. Incorporate a lean protein, plenty of fresh vegetables, and seasoning with big flavours in the pasta for an even more nutritious and satisfying dish.


I will happily be buying this pasta again and again.  Healthy and happy kids is high on my agenda and this pasta fits the bill perfectly.

I was sent some Catelli Pasta to test for this post.  Opinions, recipe, spelling mistakes and images are all my own.

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