Thursday, January 29, 2015

Whole Wheat Einkorn Fusilli Pasta, Tempeh with Crimini Mushroom and Wilted Arugula (No Added Fat)

We're not gluten-free but in some ways I prefer brown rice based pastas by companies like Jovial - they have a nice texture, at least for a change from wheat pastas. Last night, I found one of their pastas on sale - it wasn't gluten-free or rice-based, but made from Einkorn wheat, an early domesticated form. I also had some arugula which I can't remember ever cooking. I wondered what a wilted arugula and tempeh dish would be like, something I've enjoyed with spinach as the green, and thought I'd pressure cook some vegetables into a sauce for the pasta.


  • Pasta of choice
  • Medium tomato cut into 1/2" cubes
  • Leek; root removed and then about 1 1/2" or so of bottom cut into 1/4" cubes (approx. 1/3 to 1/2 cup) and well washed
  • Bell pepper cut into 1/4" cubes (I only had about a third of a bell pepper but wished that I had a full one)
  • 2t chopped basil (I used frozen cubes)
  • 1/2 cup water - 3m
  • 2t capers
  • (Optional) 2T of so nutritional yeast
  • Salt to taste (I used 1/4 t), keeping in mind the saltiness of the capers
  • Black pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 t of lemon pepper)
  • Dried oregano to taste (I used about 1/2 t)
  • (Optional) 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 c marinara
  • (Optional) Hot pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 - 1/2 t of ground chili powder)

  • I put the tomato, leek, bell pepper, basil, and water into my Instant Pot and cooked on high pressure for 3 minutes.
  • In parallel had cooked some whole wheat pasta (Jovial brand whole "ancient" grain Einkorn fusilli pasta)  by simply boiling for 12m and then draining and rinsing.
  • When I was ready to serve, I slowly released remaining pressure, mixed in the capers, nutritional yeast, salt, lemon pepper, and oregano, and served over the pasta to my Dad, who doesn't eat garlic.
  • I then added garlic powder and marinara and turned the Instant Pot on in low saute mode to heat the sauce for just a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • I served my daughter's pasta and, finally, added the hot pepper and served my wife and myself.
I also made a side dish of tempeh and wilted arugula. I put tempeh and onion on a cast-iron pan and cooked on medium heat with no added fat, flipping occasionally. A few minutes later, I added some crimini mushroom slices. When the tempeh was lightly brown (it's nice to see how tempeh can brown with almost no oil - my cast iron pans have residual oil on them from cleaning), I added a large handful of arugula leaves, hand ripped from stems, and cooked down just a bit.


The sauce was good - everybody liked it - but I didn't think it was exceptional. The tempeh dish was good, but all of us preferred arugula raw. Dinner certainly was good and filling.

Ideas for the future

Obviously, with a sauce, having fresh garlic cooked with the sauce would give it more pungency than adding garlic powder alone. Crushed red pepper, to my taste, would have been better than ground chili powder in a sauce like the main course sported. I like tempeh cooked with wilted or sauteed spinach and should try this with other greens like kale or chard.

I found an interesting sounding pressure-cooked recipe, Kamut, Arugula & Orange Salad, from Hip Pressure Cooker Laura Pazzaglia. I should try this!

Incidentally, I saw an interesting idea last night on a Scandinavian cooking show about grilling lemons. The chef cut lemons in half and put them, cut side down, on a grill. I can't remember if she served the lemons atop a salad or squeezed the juice, but I should experiment with cooking lemons, maybe waterlessly, under pressure, on cast iron, or on a grill. I wonder if the cooked lemons, peel and all, would make a nice flavoring accent if cut up into small pieces in a savory grain or rice dish.

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