Great Food Fast: Not Your Mother’s Spaghetti

Whole wheat or brown rice spaghetti with marinara sauce, tempeh and broccoli

This recipe is so easy and so obvious, I almost hesitate to post it because you likely have a similar one in your repertoire already. If you’re like me, sometimes you just have a craving for pasta with a tasty tomato sauce, so I decided to take the risk of sharing my version. You can compare it with your own and see which you like best. Once your pot of water is boiling, you’ll have this meal on the table in 15 minutes, and a complete meal it is: whole grain pasta, tempeh as a protein, a green, cruciferous vegetable. Complete and quick recipe follows…


Serves 2

3-4 quart pot of boiling water, lightly salted

4 ounces broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces

8 ounces whole wheat, or brown rice spaghetti

1 tablespoon olive oil, or to taste

1/2 small onion, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

6-8 ounces seasoned tempeh, diced (tempeh burger will do just fine)

2 cups (about 18 ounces) organic marinara sauce (Trader Joe’s sells a good one)

a few leaves of fresh basil, torn, if you have some on hand

4 tablespoons grated cheese of choice, dairy, soy or vegan

Dip the broccoli into the boiling water for about 2 minutes, scoop out and drain. Put the spaghetti in the boiling water and cook about 10 minutes or until al dente (rice pasta may cook a little more quickly). While the spaghetti is cooking, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in the sauté pan, add the onions and garlic and sauté about two minutes, add the tempeh and continue sautéing a couple minutes more, add the marinara sauce and cook on medium heat until the sauce is heated through. Stir in the fresh basil.  When the spaghetti is cooked, drain in a colander, reserving two tablespoons of the cooking water. Toss the drained pasta back into the cooking pot along with the broccoli, two tablespoons of the cheese, and a little bit of olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange the pasta on two plates or bowls.  Pour on the sauce and garnish with the additional two tablespoons of cheese.


One response

  1. I always felt that tempeh needed more than a quick saute to really be digestible. I would steam it for 15 minutes or so before putting it in the pan with the onions and garlic.

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