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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

UAE: Cooking for children made easy by a working mother of two in Abu Dhabi



Toddlers and young children are always looking for the smallest excuse to stop eating, and if the food on the plate is the same as yesterday’s, well there is a good chance that they won’t agree to even a single bite
Image Credit: Alex Green/

It must be a truth, universally acknowledged, that a parent in charge of young children must be struggling to feed them right. It starts from the first day, with challenges related to breastfeeding and formula feeding, and only gets more complex with time.

As a new mother, I naively believed that breastfeeding was as complex as it would get. Incorporating pumping and more than eight feeds a day into my daily routine, I dreamt of the day I could get my son to sit at a table and serve a freshly prepared meal for him to finish on his own.

It’s been five years since, and I can say that this is still a vision in progress. In the meantime, I’ve also come to calmly accept all the challenges that mealtimes and nutrition bring for a working mother of two.

While every household will eventually navigate the feeding task with what suits it best, a few learnings have served me well.

Meal prepping doesn’t work for us

Meal prep by Pavel Danilyuk

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It may be all the rage for working couples around the world. But when there are two young children to be considered, batch making meals over the weekend doesn’t work. Toddlers and young children are always looking for the smallest excuse to stop eating, and if the food on the plate is the same as yesterday’s, well there is a good chance that they won’t agree to even a single bite.

With that being said, certain meal prepping hacks can come in handy. For instance, I no longer make a whole lot of pasta. Instead, I boil pasta and store it in the fridge, adding a different mix of sauces, condiments and proteins just before mealtime.

Making attractive plates is an additional task I do not need

On Pinterest and Instagram, there are hundreds of examples of parents who manage to make mealtime fun by crafting elaborate landscapes and scenes with foods. I am in awe of them, and of their preppy Bento boxes and plates. As for me, I’d had enough of convincing my once two-year-old son that a biscuit broken in half tasted the same as a whole biscuit. Afterwards, I no longer wanted to cut pancakes and snacks into little star and heart shapes because I was worried that he might not go on to eat a differently shaped pancake on another day. So, I simply avoided the practice altogether

I choose to offer foods in boring, regular shapes and rely instead on variety. It makes me very much an old-school parent, but I can live with the tag if my children are eating right.

Varying meals

Speaking of variety, all I can say is that children are huge fans. My two-year-old daughter is such a proponent that I find I even have to offer subsequent meals from vastly different food groups. It’s not difficult, to be honest, but I do have to be somewhat mindful.

For example, she is quite all right with a peanut butter sandwich and some fruit for breakfast. But her mid-morning meal cannot include any bread afterwards, and any that I serve will be rejected. So I simply cut up and offer some different fruit, and that’s quite enough variety for her from one meal to another. If she gets the variety, she is much more likely to actually finish her portions.

Food bowls work spectacularly

To be very frank, my children aren’t really eating anything radically different – I simply arrange our basic desi (Indian) meal in a bowl and hand them a spoon. Bowls, in fact, fit right in with a desi meal, which is typically layered with grains, vegetables and protein, and doused with gravy. Offering it all in a bowl just makes it easier for small hands to enjoy. My children relish sifting through the various tastes and textures, especially my five-year-old, and I can relax knowing they’re enjoying a balanced meal.

Speaking of variety, all I can say is that children are huge fans. My two-year-old daughter is such a proponent that I find I even have to offer subsequent meals from vastly different food groups. It’s not difficult, to be honest, but I do have to be somewhat mindful.

– Samihah Zaman, Senior Reporter

Grating and thin slices help

When they had crossed the pureed food stage, I was keen on getting the kids to eat raw vegetables for their daily fibre intake. They loved the colour of carrots, so I began grating it onto their plates. Later, when my son claimed not to like tomatoes, I began adding thin slices to his food bowl and he ate them right up. And, thinly sliced lettuce in a sandwich got the kiddy green light too.

Fun, kid-friendly cutlery whenever possible

While I’ve religiously eschewed the attractive plating trend, I’m all for cutlery that help my children enjoy the eating process. We’ve gotten light, colourful plates and bowls, and spoons that are easy to hold, including ones with their favourite cartoon characters. Why not, if it helps make their boring mealtimes fun. Plus, they’ll even eat cut fruit without much coaxing when I serve it with a pretty pick.

Healthy fats bring the charm

When it comes to cooking itself, I’ve found that healthy fats add that extra bit of magic to any dish I prepare for my children. While I try to minimise the sugar and the refined carbs, I do feel that a dollop of butter or a splash of coconut milk is both paediatrician-certified and magical. I avoid sweetening the milk for a bowl of cereal while still adding a quarter teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa for the taste. And, the right dipping sauce or some mayonnaise gets my children finishing even the vegetables they least like to eat.

Food education is helpful even with small children

It sounds boring, but children do like eating healthy. I tell my son it makes him stronger to eat those extra veggie sticks, and he actually goes on to finish them without much complaint. What’s more, there is today a ton of videos and pop-up books that explain healthy eating in fun, engaging ways. I looked up a few videos and bought a lovely book, and at times when the kids are being especially picky, these do help provide that extra bit of encouragement.

Pavel Danilyuk/

Educate kids about healthy eating
Image Credit: Pavel Danilyuk/

There have to be substitutes

Of course, young children will always be most excited about junk food and sweet treats. But having healthy options around helps. When they’re begging for a treat, fruit yougurt often works in place of ice cream. Bread bites or quinoa chips are almost always a good substitute for potato crisps. And while there really is no substitute for chocolate, nearly 50 per cent dark chocolate is a tad bit healthier, and my kids are just as happy to get some.

Mealtime challenges are fun

This one certainly works best when there is more than one child around at mealtimes. I use it generously, telling both the kids they have won ‘the eating race’. “You’re the first five-year-old to finish his meal,” I tell my son, while adding to my daughter, “You’re the first two-year-old to finish eating.” They’re both happy, and so is their mummy.

My children, only two and five right now, will soon become wise to my tricks and hacks. And I will have to navigate the minefield of pre-teen love for junk food. But those are bridges I will simply cross when I get to them.

In the meantime, we’ll keep modelling healthy eating. That one is the oldest trick in the book, and what’s more, it actually works through all the different childhood stages!

Recipes for kids

I’m very much a home cook, and eyeball pretty much everything that I add. I also almost never prepare the same dish, adding in whatever my fridge or pantry has in store at that point in time. And I do love quick hacks and one-pot meals.

Here are three recipes that are a firm favourite at home.

My own version of congee, or savoury porridge

Savoury rice porridge

Savoury rice porridge or congee
Image Credit: Samihah Zaman/Gulf News

This dish is typically eaten in Sri Lanka at breakfast, and is often much spicier. For my children’s palate however, I hold off on the spices for this filling dish.

Prep time: 1 hour. Serves 4 medium bowls, but can vary based on how runny or thick the porridge is.


4 tablespoons of Canola oil

2 medium onions, sliced thin

2 teaspoons of coriander powder

2 teaspoons of cumin powder

1 ½ teaspoon ginger paste

4 pieces of long pandan leaves

500gm chicken breast, diced (as small as your children prefer their bites)

2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds

1 cup broken red matta rice

3-4 tablespoons instant oats

2 tablespoons coconut milk


Parboil the chicken in 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of salt. Also parboil the rice in 2 cups of water. The rice should be soft, and almost fully cooked. These can be done simultaneously, and takes about 30 minutes on medium heat.

Use a large pan, as the volume of the congee increases when the rice is cooked and coconut milk is added.

Place it over medium heat and pour in the remaining oil, and add the fenugreek leaves and pandan leaves.

After a minute of cooking, add the onion and cook on high heat for another minute.

When the onion is translucent, add the garlic, turmeric, coriander powder, cumin powder, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and garlic paste with a splash of water.

Cook on high heat for a minute, then add in the parboiled chicken with another teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.

Add the remaining cups of water to the chicken, then add the parboiled rice. When the water has reduced by half, add the milk and coconut milk. Let the porridge simmer on low heat for about 30 minutes, and in the meantime, taste for salt, adjusting as you like.

Now check the consistency of the porridge. It should be just a little bit runnier than you like, as the porridge will thicken once it is taken off the heat. If it is too runny, add half the remaining oats and let it simmer for 10 minutes. If it is too thick, add 1-2 cups of milk and then let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Take off the heat and serve in bowls.

Egg cups

Egg Muffins

Egg muffins – picture used for illustrative purposes only
Image Credit: Kseniya Chernaya/

I modified a mini quiche recipe for this to get my children to eat eggs. And it worked!

Preparation time: 1 hour from start to finish. Makes 12 mini quiches


1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

250g chicken breast, diced into tiny pieces

½ teaspoon chilli powder


Cook the onions over medium heat until translucent.

Chicken mix: Add the diced chicken, chilli powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook over high heat for 5 minutes until chicken looks cooked. Then add in the parsley and give it a stir, allowing the leaves to soften slightly. Then remove pan off the stove.

In a bowl, crack the eggs and whisk. Then add the chicken, parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese and milk, and mix it all. Add another ½-1 teaspoon of salt.

Scoop the mixture into little muffin cups. I use silicone baking cups for easy extraction.

Place into pre-heated oven and bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Serve with ketchup as a dip.

Tuna pasta

Tuna pasta

Tuna pasta
Image Credit: Samihah Zaman/Gulf News

Pasta is absolutely the most versatile thing to prepare, and if you leave aside the time it takes to boil the pasta, it is always quick and easy. Plus, you can make it as healthy or as decadent as you like.


300gm pasta of choice, I usually use whole wheat penne or fusilli, or even fettuccine.

1 small red onion, minced

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 to 2 cans of tuna in water

Salt and pepper to taste, basil and cherry tomatoes to garnish


Cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions, then drain, reserving some of the pasta water.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Then add the drained tuna and the tomato sauce. Sautee over medium heat for 7 minutes, till the tomato paste has reduced a little.

Add salt and pepper to taste, then throw in the parsley and the peas. Let the leaves soften, then add the shredded mozzarella.

Add the cooked pasta, toss to combine and warm through for a few minutes. If sauce is too thick, add a splash of pasta water. If you like a bit of sweetness, add some tomato ketchup teaspoon by teaspoon. Or add some chillies to make it spicy.

Garnish with basil and chopped cherry tomatoes. Enjoy immediately.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Healthy Pasta Recipes Under 300 Calories



These low-calorie pasta recipes satisfy and prove that pasta can be nutritious.

Credit: luchezar / E + / GettyImages

Zoodles are a healthy pasta alternative – but let’s face it, the name is more fun than eating the dish. Good news: you don’t have to go without good ol ‘pasta to hit your calorie budget.

Contrary to popular belief, pasta can actually be a nutritious, low-calorie meal. The key is keeping the portions in check and pairing your pasta with foods high in protein and fiber.

The next time you find yourself haunted by carbohydrate cravings on a cold night, try one of these healthy pasta recipes that are less than 300 calories.

Do you fancy more healthy recipes? Download the MyPlate app and get simple, tasty meals and snacks tailored to your nutritional goals.

Vegan Alfredo Pasta 300 Calorie Pasta Recipe

This vegan pasta is a great immunity boost dish.

Nothing says cozy like warm, rich Alfredo sauce. And at just 280 calories, this dish is high in healthy, unsaturated fats and proteins, making it a filling choice. It only takes you 35 minutes to prepare the perfect bowl in creamy convenience.

Instead of cream and butter, this vegan alfredo noodle swaps the traditional ingredients for coconut milk, which has some great health benefits. Coconut milk may help promote healthy immune function due to its content of lauric acid, a fatty acid known for its antimicrobial properties, according to a January 2015 article in the Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society.

2. Whole wheat carbonara pasta

Whole Wheat Pasta Carbonara 300 Calorie Pasta Recipe

Swap your standard spaghetti for this whole grain alternative.

This high-protein, 293-calorie dish is easy to prepare in just 35 minutes. For a healthier version of this pasta, the recipe swaps whole milk with skimmed milk, which reduces the saturated fat content of the dish.

Instead of white spaghetti, this recipe calls for high-fiber whole wheat pasta. Whole grains are high in fiber that will help you feel full and satisfied with fewer calories, according to the American Heart Association. Whole grains are also rich in B vitamins, which help carry oxygen in the blood and make new cells.

3. Power pesto pasta salad

Power Pesto Pasta Salad 300 calorie pasta recipe

Try this magnesium-rich dish before bed.

If you’re looking for a low-calorie, carbohydrate-filled dish, this whole grain power pesto pasta salad is for you. With just 131 calories per serving, you can pair this pasta with a lean protein like chicken breast, turkey, or tofu for a complete meal.

This pasta salad is made with spinach, which is high in magnesium and provides about 20 percent of your daily value per half cup, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This mineral is needed for energy production and proper muscle and nerve function. Magnesium also contributes to a good night’s sleep, making this a perfect meal before bed.

Lean lasagna with 300 calorie pasta recipe

This lasagna is low in calories and high in protein.

Credit: Arthur Bovino /

High in protein, low in fat, and high in fiber, this lasagna pretty much hits it all. While this recipe does require a few ingredients (it’s totally worth it), it only takes around 20 minutes to prepare and gives you the warm, full gut feeling that cold weather demands.

Instead of ground beef, this lasagna uses ground turkey, a leaner, lower-calorie protein alternative. Turkey meat is also high in niacin – also known as vitamin B3 – which, according to the Mayo Clinic, helps keep your nervous system, digestive system, and skin healthy.

Vegetable-Loaded Pasta 300 Calorie Pasta Recipe

This vegetable-laden dish will provide you with the nutrients you need.


At just 267 calories per serving, this recipe is full of veggies and whole wheat pasta. With 12 grams of fiber, this pasta makes for a hearty dinner that will keep you full and cozy after bed.

Zucchini, a key ingredient in this dish, provides some vitamin C, which helps boost immunity and help your body process and store protein, according to the NIH. Combine this pasta with a lean protein for a complete dish.

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

15 Plant-Based, Dairy-Free, High-Calcium Recipes



Calcium isn’t just for kids, it’s an incredibly essential mineral for adult bodies. In fact, calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, which should give us an indication of its importance.

You probably already know that it’s essential for building and maintaining strong bones – “99” [percent] The body’s own calcium is found in the bones and teeth – but calcium is also “necessary for maintaining healthy communication between the brain and other parts of the body” and plays an essential role in muscle movement and cardiovascular function.

Other than that, most of us only know the ancient source … dairy products. Given the many drawbacks of consuming milk – from treating dairy cows ethically, to hormones and antibiotics to increase your risk of certain types of cancer, to the fact that most of the population is actually lactose intolerant (which means you won’t get the sugar in milk digest) – it’s time to move on to alternative, healthier options!

Fortunately, there are numerous sources of plant-based, calcium-rich foods that can help alleviate the lack of calcium-containing dairy products such as soy products – tofu, nato, cooked soybeans and tempeh – some legumes, – beans, peas, and lentils – certain nuts and fruits, Seeds – especially tahini – a few ancient grains – think of amaranth and teff, also gluten-free! – Seaweed and a handful of vegetables and leafy greens.

We also strongly recommend that. to download Food Monster App – With over 15,000 delicious recipes, it’s the largest herbal recipe source to help you get healthy! And don’t forget ours Whole foods archive!

1. Curry vegetables with tempeh triangles

Curry vegetables with tempeh triangles / One Green Planet

Together with soybeans and tofu, tempeh is a wonderful source of calcium! You get “about 11” in a 100 gram serving of tempeh [percent] of the RDI. ”This recipe for curry vegetables with tempeh triangles by Kimmy Murphy combines a lot of vegetables with a serving of tempeh.

2. Black belt tofu

Blackstrap Tofu / One Green Planet

Since soy products happen to be one of the best sources of plant-based calcium, it makes sense that tofu gets on the recipe list! Tofu is actually “made with calcium phosphate,” which contains “350 mg per 3.5 ounces (100 grams)”. On the other hand, you also get your money’s worth with molasses! It’s incredibly nutritious and contains 179 mg of calcium, which equates to “18” [percent] des RDI ”in just one tablespoon! This Blackstrap Tofu Recipe by Jean-Philippe Cyr combines two of the best plant-based sources of calcium: Blackstrap molasses and tofu!

3. Creamy tahini and lentil wraps

Creamy Tahini Lentil Wraps / One Green Planet

This recipe for creamy tahini and lentil wraps from Tavi Moore is another double punch with two plant-based sources of calcium: tahini (thanks to those sesame seeds!) And lentils. A cup of lentil provides about 4 percent of your RDI, but mix that with calcium-rich tahini and you have a calcium-rich meal!

4. Cinnamon Almond Cookies

Cinnamon and Almond Cookies / One Green Planet

For a nut, almonds are quite high in calcium, providing “97 mg per 1/4 cup (35 grams), or about 10 [percent] des RDI ”, the recommended daily allowance. This cinnamon and almond biscuit recipe from Julie Zimmer is a fun way to incorporate almonds into a tasty package that’s also filled with anti-inflammatory cinnamon and high fiber oatmeal.

5. Homemade tahini

Homemade Tahini / One Green Planet

Nuts and seeds usually go hand in hand in the nutrition department, and that goes for calcium too. Sesame seeds have the highest content, especially tahini butter, which is made from … you guessed it … sesame seeds! In two tablespoons of tahini, you get 130 mg of calcium, which is “13 percent of the RDI”. This homemade tahini recipe from Julie West is a super easy recipe using sesame seeds!

6. Sweet and spicy bok choy

Sweet and spicy Pak Choy / One Green Planet

Dark leafy vegetables are another source of plant-based calcium. If you want to deviate from the standard spinach and kale mix, how about trying Bok Choy? In half a cup of Bok Choi, you get 84 to 142 mg of calcium, which is between “8 and 14 percent of the RDI”. This sweet and flavorful bok choy recipe from Jordan and Clark Cord is a great, flavorful recipe for the novice bok choy!

7. Chicken fingers

Chicken Fingers / One Green Planet

Another super fun high calcium tofu recipe! This Chicken Fingers recipe from Patrica Ganek uses tofu to create one of the most classic, kid-friendly dishes on the market. If you are a plant based household with kids this may become a staple soon!

8. Tofu Fried Rice

Tofu Fried Rice / One Green Planet

You might be wondering what’s so great about this recipe besides that tofu? It’s the peas! A lot of legumes contain amounts of calcium, but peas are high on the list. One cup of green peas contains over 27 mg of calcium! This Tofu Fried Rice recipe from Agnes Potier-Murphy mixes peas and tofu into a healthy fried rice option that’s great for freezing and enjoying now or later!

9. Chocolate sponge cake

Chocolate sponge cake / One Green Planet

In addition to these sesame seeds, chia seeds are an excellent source of calcium and fiber! In two tablespoons of chia seeds you get about “5-6” [percent] of the RDI. ”Chia seeds are also really the best friend of plant-based bakers, as they do the job of eggs … like in this chocolate sponge cake recipe by Maja Tisma.

10. Amaranth yogurt pop with raspberries

Amaranth yogurt pop with raspberries / One Green Planet

I never thought you’d see a grain on this list, did I? While not all grains contain calcium, there are some – mostly these magical old grains – that actually contain large amounts! Amaranth – which happens to be gluten-free – contains about “12” [percent] of the RDI per cup cooked. ”This amaranth yoghurt pop with raspberries recipe by Petra Vogel is a creative way to incorporate amaranth into your diet while also getting a healthy dose of calcium!

11. Salted caramel and fig cheesecake canapes

Cheesecake with salted caramel and figs / One Green Planet

Figs are an unlikely, but great, fruit-based source of calcium! With this in mind, raw figs offer more calcium than dried figs – “18 mg – or nearly 2”. [percent] of the RDI – per picture. ”This frozen caramel and fig cheesecake recipe from Vicky Coates is a great way to incorporate raw figs into your diet this summer!

12. One-pot potato, spinach, and lentil dal

One-Pot Potato, Spinach and Lentil Dal / One Green Planet

Back to that dark leafy green! A classic, super cheap leafy green that you should always have on hand for extra calcium is spinach. Depending on the type of spinach, you will get different amounts of calcium. Mustard spinach, for example, contains around 300 mg of calcium per raw cup, while New Zealand spinach has around 32 mg per raw cup. Whichever type you like, you’re getting a decent dose of calcium! This One-Pot Potato, Spinach, and Lentil Dal Recipe from Julie Zimmer is an excellent use of spinach and lentils for a calcium-rich meal.

13. Wakame soup

Wakame soup / a green planet

Seaweed is an excellent herbal ingredient to add to your culinary experiments! If you’re looking for an extra dose of calcium, try wakame. It is usually eaten raw and contains “approximately 126 mg or 12” [percent] of the RDI per cup. ”Of course, if you’re new to algae, give Valentina Chiappa’s wakame soup a try, blended with a variety of hearty flavors like sesame oil, ginger, carrot and onion!

14. Teff

Everything Bagel Cracker / One Green Planet

Another ancient grain makes the list of calcium sources! Together with amaranth, teff is gluten-free and a great source of calcium. And just like amaranth, teff offers “12” [percent] of the RDI per cooked cup. “The most common use of teff is the flour form for gluten-free baking, as in this super delicious Everything Bagel Crackers recipe from Quelcy Koger.

15. Flax flour pizza crust

Flax flour pizza crust / One Green Planet

In addition to being a great source of fiber and healthy fat, flaxseed is a plant-based source of calcium. In two tablespoons of flaxseed you get about “5-6” [percent] of the RDI. ”Besides that, it is difficult for our digestive system to break down whole flaxseed. So opt for a ground or ground version like in this recipe for flax flour pizza crust by Christa Clark.

Learn How To Make Plant-Based Meals At Home!

Sushi bowl with tofu in a sesame crust / One Green Planet

It is known to help reduce meat consumption and eat more plant-based foods for chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Milk consumption has also been linked to many health problems including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.

For those of you with a more plant-based diet, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster app – with over 15,000 delicious recipes, it’s the greatest herbal recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals, and get healthy ! And while you’re at it, we encourage you to find out about the ecological and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some great resources to get you started:

For more daily published content on animals, earth, life, vegan food, health and recipes, subscribe to the One Green Planet newsletter! Finally, public funding gives us a greater chance of continuing to provide you with quality content. Please remember to support us with a donation!

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Recipes with Whole Wheat Pasta

Summer is a great time to enjoy pasta — make these 4 dishes – Orange County Register



Entangled in noodles? Not a bad way to spend the summer.

Chilled, room temperature or warm pasta dishes in a bowl can play a big role in warm weather. A mixed green salad could round out the meal if you want. But let’s focus on pasta with great flavor in a large bowl, large platter, or yes, straight out of the pan.

Asian-inspired noodle preparations go well with chilled noodles. A Southeast Asian pesto is a summer staple in my home. The coarse, flavored paste can be used in many ways, deliciously stirred into noodles, but also deliciously spread in rice or on grilled fish. I stir it in chicken broth for a quick Asian soup. Or toss it with cooked green beans, zucchini, or yellow baby Dutch potatoes.

The basis of the pesto are ground peanuts, but fresh chilies, ginger, garlic and fresh herbs also play an important supporting role. One of these herbs is Thai basil (húng quế in Vietnamese), a herb with purple stems with pinkish-purple flowers and green, pointed leaves. The herb has a lovely floral scent that is paired with a flavor profile that is something like licorice with a peppery edge. Thai basil is sold in the product departments of the local Asian markets. Some nurseries sell seedlings, small plants that generally grow well in Southern California.

Italy offers endless variations of summer pasta dishes that are served warm or hot. Some authentic, other Italian-inspired American interpretations. Pasta offers a neutral canvas for endless variations.

Enjoy the pasta delights.

Ground peanuts are the basis of Southeast Asian pesto, but fresh chillies, ginger, garlic and fresh herbs also play an important supporting role. (Photo by Cathy Thomas)

Southeast Asian pesto

Yield: 3 cups


2 tablespoons plus 1 cup of peanut oil, shared use

2/3 cup of roasted salted peanuts

2 green fresh serrano chillies or jalapeño chillies or red Fresno chillies, pitted, chopped; see cooking notes

1 generous tablespoon of chopped fresh ginger

6 medium-sized garlic cloves, peeled, chopped

2 cups of fresh Thai basil leaves; see cooking notes

1/3 cup fresh mint leaves

1/3 cup coriander

2 teaspoons of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons of sugar

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Chef’s Notes: If you prefer a hotter sauce, use serrano chillies; Use jalapeños or Fresno red chilies for a milder sauce. I like to use half as much chilli as advertised, then taste and add more when the sauce needs a boost. Thai basil is sold in the vegetable departments of Asian markets. This recipe makes 3 cups of sauce; If you prefer, cut all ingredient dimensions in half to make 1 1/2 cups. Throw in 1 cup of this pesto with 1 pound of cooked Asian noodles and serve hot or at room temperature. Season to taste before serving; add salt if necessary. Store leftover pesto in the refrigerator airtight for up to 3 days. This mixture can be used to flavor broths, salad dressings, rice, and grilled chicken or fish.


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium-sized pan over medium-high heat. Add peanuts and cook for 10 seconds. Remove from heat, stir and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. The peanuts should be golden brown, but not overcooked, so that they taste burnt (put them on the plate if the nuts turn too brown). Put the nuts and oil in the food processor; process until the peanuts are a coarse paste.

2. Put the chillies, ginger and garlic in the food processor and roughly chop. Add herbs, salt, sugar and lime juice; Crush, if necessary add a little more oil through the filler pipe with the engine running. Add remaining oil and pulse 2 or 3 times to work it in.

Summer Linguine with Tomatoes, Brie and Basil is a dish that cookbook authors Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins first enjoyed in Sardinia. (Photo by Cathy Thomas)

Summer linguine with tomatoes, brie and basil

Many years ago Julee Rosso and the late Sheila Lukins, the authors of The Silver Palate Cookbook, came into my kitchen with me to prepare a favorite dish from their book. They chose this delicious linguine dish, a preparation they had enjoyed in a private home in Sardinia. It was introduced in a chapter in the book called “Summer Noodles”.

Yield: 6 servings


4 large, ripe, unpeeled tomatoes, preferably heirlooms, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, see Cooking Notes

3/4 pound brie cheese, chilled, rind removed, torn into ragged pieces, see cooking notes

1 cup of fresh basil leaves, cut into thin horizontal strips

3 large cloves of garlic, peeled, chopped

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon, shared use

2 1/2 teaspoons of coarse salt, shared

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 pound of dried linguine; see cooking notes

Optional set: Grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Chef’s Notes: You can use either large tomatoes cut into 1/2-inch cubes or 2 cups of halved cherry tomatoes – or a combination of both. It’s easier to cut off the rind of the brie when it’s cold; Place in the freezer for 10 minutes to make it easier to cut off the rind. I like to use Trader Joe’s linguine spinach and chives.


1. In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, brie, basil, garlic, 3/4 cup oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Let rest at room temperature for about 1 to an hour.

2. Bring a large saucepan of water with the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 tablespoon of oil to a boil. Add the linguine and cook al dente according to the instructions on the packet. Drain well. Add to the tomato mixture while it is still hot. Swirl immediately and swirl enough so that most of the brie can melt and coat the pasta. Serve, strain the pepper mill and grated parmesan as an optional topping.

Source: Adapted from “The Silver Palate Cookbook” by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins (Workman)

Udon noodles can be served cold in a dressing of toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar, peanut butter, soy, dried red chilli flakes, and brown sugar. (Photo by Cathy Thomas)

Cold sesame noodles

Udon noodles can be peppered with sesame seeds and dressed with a quick-cooked sauce made from roasted (Asian) sesame oil, rice vinegar, peanut butter, soy, dried red chilli flakes and brown sugar. The rich sauce hugs a jumble of Japanese udon noodles, flat wheat-based noodles in the form of linguine. Sliced ​​spring onions and blanched snow peas come to the party, along with a garnish of toasted sesame seeds.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings


3 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1/2 teaspoon dried paprika flakes or to taste

2 tablespoons of tightly packed brown sugar or granulated sugar or to taste

1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon of roasted (Asian) sesame oil

1 teaspoon of chopped fresh ginger

1/2 cup of chicken broth or vegetable broth

1 pound udon (flat Japanese wheat noodles)

Garnish: 4 spring onions with dark green stems, thinly sliced

Salt if necessary

Garnish: Thin cucumber slices

Garnish: 8 to 10 snow peas, briefly blanched in boiling water until tender and crispy, drained

Garnish: 2 tablespoons of toasted sesame seeds


1. In a saucepan, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, peanut butter, oil, ginger and stock; simmer the mixture, stirring with a whisk, until thickened and smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes; cool down a bit. Bring a large saucepan 2/3 full of water to a boil over high heat. Cook the pasta until al dente, about 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Drain in a colander; Freshen up with cold water. Shake the strainer to remove excess water; Put the pasta in a bowl and mix with the sauce and spring onions. Season to taste and salt if necessary.

3. Serve the noodles at room temperature and garnish with cucumber slices, sugar snap peas and toasted sesame seeds.

Linguine with white mussel sauce can be the star of your summer backyard get-together. (Photo by Nick Koon)

Linguine with white mussel sauce

Yield: 4 to 6 servings



1 pound of dried linguine or spaghetti

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

3/4 teaspoon dried paprika flakes

3/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 cup of dry white wine

2 (10 ounce each) cans of whole baby clams with their juices, see Cooking Notes

Freshly ground black pepper

2 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

2 teaspoons of chopped or finely grated lemon peel (colored portions only)

1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley, shared use

Optional side dish: lemon wedges, cherry tomatoes, whole steamed mussels, see cooking notes

Chef’s Notes: If you are serving this dish at a party, consider steaming some clams to serve on top of the pasta. After steaming, discard any clams that won’t open.


1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions until 2 minutes before the cooking time for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta.

2. In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Heat the oil in a large, deep pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano and cook until the garlic is tender and begins to turn a pale golden color, about 1 minute. Add wine; Simmer until reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in mussels with their juices; cook until just warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with black pepper. Try and add salt if necessary. Keep in mind that canned clams can be quite salty.

3. Add cooked, drained pasta, butter and lemon zest; throw. Add half of the reserved pasta water and half of the parsley; throw. Once the butter melts, it should appear sassy. If necessary, add a little more pasta cooking water (this is rarely necessary) and toss. Scatter the rest of the parsley on top and garnish with lemon wedges if you like.

Do you have a question about cooking? Contact Cathy Thomas at

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