; Supermarket Serenade: A Nice Big Bowl of Flax Spaghetti

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Nice Big Bowl of Flax Spaghetti

Please don't tell my kids...but... I've been sneaking ground flax seed into their Aunt Jemima pancake mix. In fact, I've been sneaking ground flax into just about everything I can think of lately. I can't tell them. If I told them I put flax in their usual foods they probably wouldn't eat them-they would find some reason why it tastes funny and push it aside. So when they ask what the little flecks are in the pancake batter I just smile and say "oh, probably just the eggs".

They probably won't believe me, but I only sneak things into their foods because I love them and want them to be healthy. Flax seeds are loaded with cholesterol lowering omega 3 fatty acids, they're fiber rich, immunity boosting and brain building. They'll do it too when they have kids.
Well given my flax obsession of late, it should come as no surprise that I was very excited on a recent visit to Trader Joe's to discover Trader Giotto's (isn't that clever - they made it Italian) Multi Grain Spaghetti with Flax. I couldn't wait to give it a try.

The incorporation of whole wheat pastas into our dining repertoire has been a (sneaky) gradual process. I liken it to the process of switching my whole milk loving husband over to skim milk when we were first married-first the 2% for a couple of weeks, then the 1%, then the skim-all without mentioning it of course (I'm pretty sure he still thinks he's drinking whole milk and it's been 18 years). Obviously I can't keep switching the pasta a secret-with the color difference and all, but I have tried to do it gradually by serving half regular and half whole wheat. No one seems to balk too much and now my daughter even prefers the whole wheat to the regular.

The Trader Joe's Spaghetti with Flax was fabulous; it had a slightly nutty taste without being bitter like some other whole wheat pastas can sometimes be. It's packed with 6 grams of fiber and 8 grams of protien. It's a keeper.

In my recipe below the spaghetti is tossed with a browned butter, but if you prefer you may substitute extra virgin olive oil-next time I may even try flax oil. I chose to use Grana Padano Cheese for a change instead my usual Parmigiano Reggiano, but you can use whichever you prefer - a Pecorino would work well also.

Flax Spaghetti with Brown Butter, Basil and Grana Padano Cheese
8 ounces Trader Giotto's Spaghetti with Flax
2 cups quartered grape tomatoes
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 crushed Calabrese peppers (about 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon pine nuts, lightly toasted
4 ounces Grana Padano cheese, shaved
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add salt to the water to taste if desired. Stir in the spaghetti, return to a boil and cook for 9 minutes; drain.

While the spaghetti is cooking combine the tomatoes, basil, crushed pepper and salt in a bowl.

Just before draining the spaghetti, brown the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Stir in the drained spaghetti and the tomato mixture; cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts. Top with the shaved cheese.
Yield: 4 servings


Lisa said...

Your spaghetti looks delicious! Trader Joe's is the best. I buy the flax seed pasta all the time. They have penne also. It is a wet rainy day here today so I might have to make a trip there this afternoon.

Your blog design is adorable! I might need LouLOu to do mine.

Prudy said...

Oh how I wish we had a Trader Joe's! I would love flax seed pasta, I just know it. Next time I'm in a big city I'll pick some up. Your photos are looking really good! Erin

Anonymous said...

Trader joe's recently quit carrying their multigrain pastas. I loved them.

If enough people contact them and ask them to reconsider, they could bring it back.

Send an email to them at:

Anonymous said...

Hi! My family loves Trader Giotto's pastas! But i can't find them anymore.Does anybody knows where to buy it? Thank you

Anonymous said...

I asked at Trader Joe's and they told me that the company bought a huge overstock shipment of that pasta and now it's gone. That's why it was so cheap but they won't have it anymore. I was so very disappointed.