I was delighted a few weeks ago when the good peeps at Barilla contacted me about creating a healthy recipe for the new year and doing a pasta giveaway. They are generously offering several boxes of free pasta and a Barilla apron to two of my readers! Woot! More details on how to enter after the recipe below.

We eat a ton of pasta around here, seeing as how I was a vegetarian for a long, long time and I still don’t really know how to cook meat. Pasta is basically our meat.

Barilla sent me some boxes of new varieties of pasta to test out, and they were awesome. I’ve always used the Barilla Plus; have you tried it? It’s pasta with extra protein, fiber and omega 3s added. I’ve switched between that and a whole wheat pasta for years. But recently the 9 year old has told me he doesn’t like the whole wheat pasta anymore. He’s been eating it for forever and a fortnight, but suddenly he doesn’t like it. Feh. But he’ll still eat the Barilla Plus.

What I hadn’t tried, though, were the veggie pasta and the white fiber pasta. The veggie pasta has pureed vegetables in it, and the white fiber appears to have some whole wheat flour mixed in—they bill it as a white pasta with extra fiber, but on the ingredients list there’s whole wheat flour, so I’m guessing that’s where the extra fiber comes from. Which is great; much better than some kind of artificial added fiber.

As you know from my month of resolutions, one thing I’m trying to do is lose a little weight and eat a little healthier. So when I make pasta, I pair it with as many veggies as I can. I use just as many veggies as I do pasta, in a 1 to 1 ratio, if you will. I decided to create a dish that included our family’s favorite vegetables and as much healthy stuff as possible. Here’s what I wanted to achieve:

  • include healthy veggies
  • include something everyone likes
  • make it a one pot meal
  • incorporate a vegetable protein

Hence was born Pasta with Kale and Mushrooms. Everyone loved it!


  • 1 bunch kale, washed, stems removed, and torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 oz. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 c. pomegranate seeds
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • chunk of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 box Barilla White Fiber pasta (I used mini penne)
  • salt and pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Put all the kale inside and blanch it for 5 minutes. Remove from the water with a slotted spoon or chinese strainer, and set aside. Bring the water to a boil again. Cook the pasta according to the package directions in this water.
  2. Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a large pan over high heat. Add the onions and mushrooms with a dash of salt. Cook until the mushrooms release their liquid, the liquid evaporates, and the mushrooms begin to brown.
  3. Add the kale to the mushroom mixture and cook until any of the liquid from the kale leaves evaporates.
  4. Add the cannellini beans to the mixture and cook for one minute. Remove from heat.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the pasta, the mushroom and kale mixture, and the pomegranate seeds. Toss well and add more salt and/or pepper to taste. Top with slivers of Parmesan cheese shaved off the block.
Does anything smell better than sauteing onions?

Does anything smell better than sauteing onions?

A few notes to add:

  • You can use more or less pasta to your taste. I used only 3/4 of a box, but adjust it so that your ratio of pasta to vegetables is to your liking.
  • You could use up to 2 bunches of kale; it wilts down significantly.

Enjoy! The whole family ate this up. And it’s super healthy!

Now, to the GIVEAWAY! If you’d like to enter, like me on Facebook and leave a comment there telling us about your favorite healthy pasta dish. Straight up tomato sauce on farfalle? Turkey lasagna? A reinvented mac and cheese? We’re dying to know. The giveaway will be open until next Wednesday at 5pm PST. I’ll choose the winner by random generator  on Thursday. Make sure to check back then!

P.S. — The official stuff: Barilla sent me pasta to play with, but I was in no other way compensated for this post. My opinions are all my own. You know the drill.



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  • January 26, 2013, 6:20 am Kathy

    That looks yuuuuuummmmmy! I’m going to have to try this (except the mushrooms. I have a thing about mushrooms, which is a bummer).

  • January 27, 2013, 10:57 am Erika

    I agree with Q, I’m kind of over the wheat pasta. I think it’s the texture. And maybe the flavor. I love Barilla Plus and am looking forward to trying the white fiber (which is totally my rapper name). I have found De Boles Oat Bran pasta is great, but it hasn’t caught on so it’s not always easy to find. I haven’t thought of adding pomegranate seed. Love that idea. I like to add greek olives, garbanzos, pine nuts, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, or if it’s tomato season roasted cherry tomatoes. And I totally dig the 1 to 1 ratio. Also, I add a little red wine vinegar to the cold leftovers and turn it into a pasta salad. Keep these delicious recipes coming!