Low Calorie Main Dish Pasta Vegetarian

Broccoli Linguine with Feta

June 3, 2013

I hate it when a good pasta dish goes bad because of crappy pasta. This is my second time cooking with whole-grain/whole-wheat pasta, and it’s my last. I don’t care for the texture or the taste. I already had a tough start with this Broccoli Linguine with Feta because it was supposed to be broccoli rabe. Apparently it was my grocery store’s mission to be out of the stuff they usually carry when I need it. This was the same trip they were out of fennel for this sandwich. Of course yesterday when I went, there was both! I have no idea if broccoli is an appropriate substitute for broccoli rabe, but I liked it and it works well in pasta, so I went for it. This pasta dish is loaded with all kinds of hearty, filling goodies. If it weren’t for that damn linguine.

Broccoli Linguine with Feta by So, How's It Taste? www.leah-claire.com

So, how’s it taste?

I think this pasta would be awesome with regular linguine. Yeah, I know the whole-grain is healthier, but it’s not for me. The texture is like sandpaper and the flavor is similar to what I think cardboard might taste like. This dish doesn’t really have a sauce and the whole-grain linguine sucked up every little inch. I remembered to save some of the cooking water (a trick I learned from Giada) and that still didn’t help much. It was very dry. Thank goodness it was only four servings. It’s really a shame the pasta ruined it. I do want to try it again and see what a difference it makes. I might even mash up a few of the cannellini beans and sort of create a sauce. I loved the hit of salt from the Kalamatas. And I really liked how chunky it was with the broccoli, beans, and strips of tomatoes. Even though I didn’t enjoy this version, it was very filling. I think it would give it a nice burst of freshness to include a squeeze of lemon, too.

How do you feel about whole-wheat/whole-grain pasta? What kind of sauce do you serve with it?

Broccoli Linguine with Feta

slightly adapted from The Best of Clean Eating 3
makes 4 servings
per serving: 394 calories, 9g fat, 66g carbs, 11g fiber, 19g protein


4 cups broccoli, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
8 oz. whole-grain linguine pasta
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
black pepper, to taste
15 oz. cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
12 Kalamata olives, pitted & chopped
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (dry-packed), chopped
2 1/2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled


1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add broccoli and return to a boil. Cook until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to a colander to drain; do not discard cooking water.

2. Return saucepan to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Save about 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain.

3. In a large skillet, heat oil on low. Saute garlic and pepper flakes, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in broccoli and black pepper. Increase heat to medium. Stir in beans, olives, tomatoes, and remove from heat.

4. Return pasta to saucepan and stir in broccoli mixture. Add reserved cooking water, in small increments, if pasta is dry. (If you salted your water, be mindful because you're adding salt, too.) Garnish servings with cheese and serve.

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  • Erin @ One Particular Kitchen June 3, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I really hate whole wheat/whole grain pasta. I’m pretty sure it’s so much healthier because you eat only one bite of it and toss the rest. :/ The rest of this dish looks awesome though!

    • Leah Short June 3, 2013 at 10:22 am

      Glad it’s not just me. I suffered through all four servings and it was yuck. The rest was good. I should’ve just picked out the pasta. 😉

  • Sues June 3, 2013 at 10:17 am

    I love healthifying pasta dishes up with vegetables! This looks awesome!

  • TLF June 3, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I love most whole grains — brown rice, 100% ww bread, etc. I have tried and tried but I just don’t like ww pasta.

    I learned, however, that Barilla Plus pasta is the bomb. You won’t mistake it for white but it is very very close, and miles away from ww. The bonus is that it has some significant protein content. So, unless I’m doing something really traditional, or am cooking for picky eaters, I use Barilla Plus. It comes in enough shapes to serve most purposes.

    • Leah Short June 3, 2013 at 11:44 am

      I’m the same with other foods too. Prefer brown rice and whole wheat bread. Thanks for the tip on Barilla Plus!

  • angela@spinachtiger June 3, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    The only WW pasta I like is something I made recently with hand-milled flour, but for most part I HATE whole wheat pasta. It’s horrible, and I don’t eat pasta enough not to enjoy it. As far as broccoli and broccoli rabe, they aren’t related but both come from Italy. Broccoli rabe is related more to mustard greens. It’s bitter but in a good way. However it needs some hot pepper flakes and garlic and olive oil and salt to taste great. Try it sometime with sausage; it’s a perfect duo. Still, I like good old broccoli in pasta too and of course feta is always good.

  • Julie @ Table for Two June 3, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Veggies and pasta is such a great weeknight dish!

  • DessertForTwo June 4, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    So, here’s the thing with whole wheat pasta. It’s better for me, so I suck it up and eat it. Every now and then, I reward myself with regular white imported Italian pasta. And I savor it. But, mainly, I try to pile delicious toppings (like this broccoli and feta!) to cover up the whole grain taste. Slowly, you’ll get used to it. I can’t wait to try your toppings!

  • Jackie l Food.Wine.Fashion June 5, 2013 at 6:56 am

    This looks very delish – even if the pasta ruined it 🙁 I’m a big fan of the ‘smart plus’ pastas. I can’t remember who makes it but its basically the health benefits of whole grain pasta but the texture and taste of white pasta. Try that!

    xo Jackie