I adore the slightly bitter taste of rapini, a cross between broccoli and turnip greens. This is a great introduction to it, as rapini’s unique flavour is mellowed a bit by the pasta.

If you cannot find wild mushrooms, just used regular brown (cremini) mushrooms.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Pinch hot red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 lb (125 g) fresh wild mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (about 1-1/2 cups/375 ml)
  • 1 cup cooked red kidney beans
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 1 lb (500 g) whole wheat or regular spaghetti
  • 1 lb (500 g) rapini or broccoli, trimmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup pitted black olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  1. Heat oil in a large, deep non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add garlic and hot red pepper flakes and cook gently for a few minutes until tender and fragrant but not browned.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until softened. Add kidney beans, salt and pepper, and cook for a few minutes longer.
  3. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Add rapini and cook for 5 minutes longer. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water.
  4. Add reserved olives and water to skillet. Heat thoroughly. Toss with drained pasta, rapini and parsley. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.

Per serving:

  • Calories 374
  • Protein 16 g
  • Fat 5 g
  • Saturates 1 g
  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Carbohydrate 67 g
  • Fibre 9 g
  • Sodium 480 mg
  • Potassium 539 mg
  • Excellent: Vitamin A; Thiamine; Riboflavin; Niacin; Folate; Iron
  • Good: Vitamin B6; Vitamin C

– book, by Bonnie Stern, called “Heart Smart”; in co-operation with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

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