Spelt products, from breads to pasta, are increasingly available these days, offering an alternative to wheat. While spelt is not gluten-free it has a wider range of nutrients than the hybridized wheat products we usually use. Spelt, an ancient grain related to wheat, can be tolerated by some who have sensitivities to wheat and wheat products.
Spelt pasta doesn’t have the heavier, grainy taste that whole wheat pasta has, and even has a somewhat milder flavor than a regular wheat pasta. Chances are, if you serve it to your family without telling them it’s spelt, they won’t taste the difference.
We used spelt pasta from Whole Foods to make a quick summer dish with leftover rotisserie chicken, a leaf of fresh sage from the garden, sliced garlic, olive oil and a little white wine. Toss some grape tomatoes into the mix in the sauté pan and let them heat up and pop skins.
Spelt Pasta with Chicken, Sage and Grape Tomatoes
4 ounces spelt pasta, spaghetti or angel hair
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
1 cup rotisserie chicken, white meat or dark, or a mixture
2-3 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup grape or small cherry tomatoes, washed and used whole
1 large leaf fresh sage, minced
3 large leaves fresh basil
1 teaspoon leaves of fresh, chopped oregano or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chicken broth or water
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Pinch of sea salt, or to taste
Pinch of cracked black pepper, or to taste
Pinch red cayenne pepper, optional
Set the pot of salted water on the stove to boil, as directed by the package of spelt pasta. Proceed to cook pasta as you’re making the sauté.
In a sauté pan heat up 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and add the garlic, cooking over medium heat until it has just started to brown. Add tomatoes and toss them around in the pan with the garlic until the tomato skins wrinkle and one or two tomatoes burst their skin. Add the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil, along with the chicken, sage, basil and oregano and toss until the chicken is warmed through. Stir in the chicken broth or water, and wine and give that a minute or so to heat up. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and added cayenne if you wish to add a little heat.
When the pasta is cooked, reserve a little of the cooking water when you drain it. Put cooked pasta into a large bowl and toss with the chicken and tomato mixture. If it seems a little dry, add another swig of olive oil or some of the pasta water. Serve right away.
Makes 2 servings
From Bonnie Walker