Pasta with Tomatoes, Pine Nuts and Raisins

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The insanity of the week has carried over into the weekend, I’m afraid to say.

I woke up to a Lily who was clearly miserable, dragging her backside along the carpet. Dog owners generally know what that means — it’s time to go to the vet. I won’t elaborate…this is a food blog, right? So I hurriedly found a vet with a Saturday appointment, which conveniently is not our established vet in town. Ugh. I rounded up all of her vaccination records from our yet-to-be-unpacked storage room in the basement, and postponed the completion of my peach donuts until this morning.

I took her to the vet, spent $107, and had not gotten in my morning workout before our guest arrived.

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I got home and Mr. Prevention convinced me I had time enough to run and get ready before we needed to meet others for our RV Michigan wine trail adventure. I squeaked out a sub-3 mile run that was half glorious and half torture. Glorious in that I was wound tighter than a Jack-in-the-Box after last week and the morning, and torture in that it was just tough. I hadn’t run since Tuesday.

I had just finished a glass of water, sitting there profusely sweating and catching my breath, when Mr. Prevention announced that Kristin just pulled up. Ahhh! Running later than I thought. Somehow, I was ready on time-ish and we got to our departure location in plenty of time.

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We all packed into a too-small RV, with the 3 of us in the back bedroom. The RV, named the Swinger, was circa 1980-something, and was quite the sight. Sixteen adults, one designated driver, and 4 wineries. It was fun.

I learned a few things yesterday. Michigan white wines are better than red, don’t ask your husband what bottle(s) to buy…just do it, and sometimes, you have to taste to believe.

Some of these wines we tasted had the most obscure descriptions. How can melon, cinnamon, oat, and citrus possible go together? Well, they did and it was my favorite. And I normally prefer wines not aged in oak and that combination of flavors just sound…weird. Kind of like this pasta.

This was one of those recipes I expected not to like, but tried anyways because my CSA was delivering kale and collards right and left. As it would end up, I really enjoyed this pasta meal. And the nutrition stats. Impressive all around, especially for those willing to step outside the box with the flavor palate!

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Pasta with Tomatoes, Pine Nuts and Raisins adapted from Ottolenghi via Vegetarian Times April/May 2012, as seen on Eats Well With Others

1/2 cup golden raisins
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp pine nuts
1 large tomato, chopped (1/2 lb)
1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
10 large green olives, pitted and sliced
1 Tbsp capers, drained
1 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
8 oz whole wheat pasta
11 oz mixed greens (kale, collards, mustard greens, spinach, swiss chard)
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

Place the raisins in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let stand for at least 5 minutes or until raisins are tender and plump. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and saute for about 2 minutes or until starting to brown. Add the tomato, sugar, and salt to the pan. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in the olives, capers, white wine vinegar, and raisins. Remove the pan from the heat.

Cook the pasta in a pot of boiling salted water. About three minutes before it’s done, add in the greens. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Add the pasta and greens back to the pot and stir in the sauce. Add in the parsley, lemon zest, and garlic. Stir in the pasta water, a tbsp at a time, if the pasta looks dry. Season with salt and black pepper.

Yield: 4 servings (about 1 1/2 cups each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 345 calories; 9.8 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 481 mg. sodium; 58.3 g. carbohydrate; 9.0 g. fiber; 9.0 g. protein

Result: Light, healthy, and a very unexpected blend of flavors that worked. What drew me to this recipe was the plethora of greens that it called for. I’ve learned that I best enjoy kales and collards when cooked down and added to a pasta dish. If you’re new to greens, this method of preparation is a great place to start. I think the unexpected star of this dish was the raisins – what a fun twist! Low in calories and packed with fiber!

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 It’s chilly here this morning and my only task left for the weekend is to figure out what I am going to name my cookbook…and to take the cover photo. I’d like to think that will be simple, but I’m afraid not. Wish me luck!

Be well,

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7 Comments

  1. August 19, 2012 / 9:22 am

    Poor pup! My kitty has been showing signs he’s do for a check-up but I haven’t made an appt for him yet – thanks for the reminder!

  2. Becca
    August 19, 2012 / 9:51 am

    Which wineries did you visit? If you didn’t visit these, I highly recommend them for the future: Karma Vista in Coloma (fun names and a beautiful place) and Lawton Ridge in Kalamazoo (smaller, more intimate. When we went one of the owners was pouring and he was so friendly and knowledgable – happy to chat with us for as long as we wanted. Highly recommend their Cherry Wine, it’s made from cherries – not a white wine with cherry juice added 🙂

  3. August 19, 2012 / 11:54 am

    I hope Lily is at least feeling better!

  4. August 19, 2012 / 1:48 pm

    Congratulations on your cookbook!! Hooray!! We just took one of our kitties to the vet for the same reason…. So sorry it had to happen after your hectic week! I have this recipe dogeared in my vegetarian times copy!! So happy to hear that it’s delish! Can’t wait to try it!!

  5. August 19, 2012 / 8:17 pm

    Looks like a tasty way to sneak some greens in! 🙂

  6. August 20, 2012 / 12:49 am

    Oh poor Lily! I hope she’s feeling better.

    Hopefully the craziness of your week/weekend dies down a little bit. Sometimes boring is nice.

  7. August 20, 2012 / 9:16 am

    Glad you had fun at the wineries! Next time you should point that RV in the direction of Ontario 🙂

    I think the combination of flavours in this pasta sounds awesome! I actually read the title and said mmmm…

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