Makes 3 to 4 servings

According to researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, due to the magic ingredient lycopene, cooked tomatoes help prevent heart disease, as well as cancers of the prostate, cervix, skin, bladder, breast, lung and digestive tract. The heat from cooking helps break down the cell walls, which releases the lycopene and makes it easier for the body to absorb. (MSNBC, March 28, 2004)
       A generous and varied volume of nutrients is found in whole grain pastas such as folic acid, protein, iron, niacin, phosphorus and magnesium, while commercial refined pasta is made of white flour which is bleached and often contains synthetic vitamins.
      Whole grain pastas are a good source of fiber, the substance important in weight maintenance. Whole grain or vegetable pastas contain 5 grams of fiber per ounce compared with regular refined pasta with just 3.5 grams.

Master Pasta Recipe:
      Makes 3 to 5 cups, depending on grains
At least 75% of the nutrients (vitamins, minerals and trace elements) in the whole grain are missing in white pastas. Whole grain pastas take just several minutes longer to cook and yield greater taste. These summer pasta recipes yield easy, light meals that are full of flavor. Enjoy organic whole grain pastas based on whole wheats (hard red wheat or durum semolina), spelt, kamut, rye or buckwheat, or wheat-free pastas such as corn, brown rice and quinoa; or brown rice. Whether it’s fusilli, rotini or rotelle, spiral or corkscrew pastas hold together well.

4 quarts water
8 ounces organic whole-grain pasta

      Makes 3 to 6 servings or 3½ to 4 cups
2 pounds tomatoes (Roma [about 8], plum [about 20], heirloom such as Orange Flame, or 4 regular slicing tomatoes)
1 tablespoon olive oil blend (equal parts EVOO and Spectrum walnut oil, or another high-heat cooking oil)
1 onion, diced small
4 large cloves garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1½ teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
1 cup cooked chickpeas, liquid set aside
2 teaspoons natural soy sauce or chickpea miso
1/4 cup fresh basil, sliced and/or 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasonings
2 ounces arugula, 2 to 3 cups, gently packed and cut in 1- or 2-inch pieces

1. In a large pot, bring water for pasta to a rolling boil. Submerge whole tomatoes in boiling water until most skins split, in 3 or 4 minutes. Transfer to cutting board to cool, then discard skins and dice. Makes about 4½ cups.

2. When boiling resumes, add pasta and cook until tender, 8 to 20 minutes. Times vary greatly between whole grain pastas.

3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté onion briefly. Stir in garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper and rosemary. Cover to cook for 5 minutes. Add chickpeas, soy sauce and basil. If needed, add enough of the chickpea liquid to make a nice sauce consistency.

4. Heat through, covered, 5 to 20 minutes more, depending on texture desired, light and fresh or thick and saucy. Or if tomatoes exude a lot of juice, often the case with big heirloom tomatoes, cook uncovered. If need be, dissolve 1 or 2 heaping tablespoons of thickener (such as kuzu root starch or arrowroot powder) with a little cool bean broth. Add to pot in last minute of cooking and stir to thicken sauce.

5. Drain pasta. To serve, place hot pasta on plates. Top with fresh arugula and then with sauce.

Variation: Farmer’s Market Sweet Pepper Sauce: Substitute 2 pounds or 4 large sweet peppers, diced, in assorted colors (red, orange, green, yellow, purple) for tomatoes. Purée half to all the cooked ingredients and add back to pot to heat through. Makes 3 to 5 cups, less when puréed.

For 4 servings, per serving:
Calories: 404 Protein: 11gm Carbohydrates: 76gm Fat: 6gm Saturated Fat: 0.9gm Fiber: 12gm Cholesterol: 0 Sodium: 425mg
Calories from Protein: 11% Calories from Fats: 14% Calories from Carbohydrates: 75%