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Thursday, 26 January 2012

Whole Wheat Pasta with Arugula, Roasted Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese

Once a week, the Onion Gogglers engage in a brutal and exhausting ritual known as "Wednesday Night Spin Class". The class is a tear-inducing, gruelling, sweatfest but is also lots of fun and immensely satisfying. So satisfying that I want to make the most of the "spinning shine", that feeling of doing something really good for your health, by extending healthy behaviours to other areas of my life. For me, the mid-week health boost means I focus more on eating well, getting plenty of sleep, and flossing for the day or so before and after each class (specifically, until the "Friday Night Bottle of Wine" ritual begins and it all goes out the window). I try to get to the gym throughout the rest of the week as well, but there's something about spinning that motivates me to be good more than any other exercise. Perhaps it's the tight shorts.

While I occasionally indulge in these, these, and plenty of this, most days we opt for meals like this one that are healthy and quick to make. This dish is full of good things: nutrient-dense vegetables, whole grains, and a sensible amount of cheese (because it makes me happy, which is good for you too).  It's ideal as a quick week night supper and the leftovers are great for lunch the next day. For all you carb-haters, it's also delicious if you omit the pasta and make a salad version topped with pumpkin seeds and an egg or cup of cooked lentils for protein.

Makes 4 servings

2 sweet potatoes, chopped into 1" cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of crushed chili flakes
pinch of salt
freshly ground pepper
4 cups arugula
2 tablespoons goat cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
3 cups whole wheat pasta (I used whole wheat egg noodles)
1/4 cup reserved pasta water

Heat the oven to 400F. Arrange the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with chili flakes and salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft and being to brown.

While the sweet potatoes cook, crumble the goat cheese into a large serving dish along with the arugula, Parmesan, and a generous pinch of pepper. Bring a large pot of boiling, salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve a 1/4 cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Add the warm pasta, sweet potatoes, and pasta water to the bowl with the arugula. Toss to coat and allow the heat from the pasta and sweet potatoes to wilt the arugula and melt the cheese. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil and serve.


  1. This is the kind of food I need to eat more often. It looks very delicious also...

    1. Thanks for your comment! It's so easy to make and doesn't taste like cardboard diet food. I hope you try it and enjoy it!