Bean and Broccoli Pasta Recipe

Bean and Broccoli Pasta Recipe
I thought I would share one of my favorite dinner recipes; this time focusing on whole grains. Whole grains still have their outer layer which contain many nutrients, including fiber, protein, and vitamins and minerals. Whole grains include whole grain breads, pastas, crackers, and tortillas, brown rice, barley, and oatmeal. The nutrients in whole grains can help keep you full, lower cholesterol, and keep your digestive system running smoothly.

This recipe includes whole grain penne. Some people aren’t fond of whole wheat pasta mainly because of the texture. When cooking whole wheat pasta, it is crucial to check the cooking instructions and pay particular attention to the cooking time. Not cooking the pasta long enough will leave you with crunchy pasta; too long and you will have pasta disintegrating in your mouth. Proper cooking is essential for great tasting dishes! A similar thing can also occur while cooking your broccoli. You want your broccoli cooked tender but not falling apart. Whole wheat pasta has a subtle wheat taste and goes well as a substitute in many recipes. Feel free to switch out your regular pasta for the added fiber of whole wheat!

Here's a little tip to cooking your pasta and broccoli: steam the broccoli using the water from the pasta! If you have a steamer that fits on top on your pot, steam the broccoli while you are bringing your water to a boil for the pasta. Any nutrients that are leeched out will be absorbed by the pasta when it's cooked. It saves you time and nutrients!

1 16oz package of whole wheat penne pasta
1 medium head of broccoli, washed and chopped into small pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 gloves garlic, diced
2 medium tomatoes, diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Steam the broccoli for 5 minutes or until tender. Set aside. Prepare a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the box directions and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for several minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broccoli, beans, and tomatoes and cook until thoroughly heated. Transfer the broccoli mixture into a large bowl and add the pasta. Add the cheese and Italian seasoning and stir well to combine. Serve warm with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

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