When Jason and I first started going out, one of our favorite date night dishes was The New York Times’ breadcrumb pasta recipe. It was easy and cheap and flavorful; filling after our heady days in the Carolina sun.
After my wheat allergy developed, I switched to making breadcrumbs from ground-up rice Chex***. I actually made a version of it last February, but one of my favorite bloggers posted something similar only days before mine was supposed to go live, so I ditched it. I’m glad I never posted it because now I can present you with with far healthier version.
You start out by noodling up two big fat sweet potatoes. Boil those noodles for a few minutes and drain them. Chop up a huge handful of oily olives. Jason and I love the olives Jubilee from the deli counter at Shoprite, but they don’t have Shoprites around here. We stock up when we go see my mom in Delaware, and then hoard the leftover oil to make salad dressing. When you make this dish, I urge you to use some nice deli olives instead of canned olives. The rest of the ingredients are super cheap, so you can splurge on the olives a bit.
Melt a little coconut oil in a pan and warm the olives for a sec and then add the oats, along with some oregano and lemon zest and Italian seasoning blend. Lovingly stir the olive/oat mix until it gets dark and toasty and fragrant.
Then you mix up the pasta with some dark green veggies — just your standard broccoli and spinach, nothing fancy. Pour on a big spoonful of your favorite tomato sauce, or maybe just some crushed tomatoes. Sprinkle the oats over top, along with a happy generous drizzle of good olive oil.
Dive in and slurp up those noodles. 🍝
***yup I know chex has lanolin, so I no longer consume it. 😄 🐏
- 2 big sweet potatoes (about 1 lb each)
- 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess water
- 1 head of broccoli, chopped to florets and lightly steamed
- 1 cup of olives, chopped
- 1 scant cup of fresh basil
- 1 1/2 - 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1 tsp microplane grated garlic
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- Salt to taste
- 1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce
- Spiralize the sweet potatoes on the thinnest setting
- Boil the sweet potatoes for 2-3 minutes, then drain right away
- Toss the sweet potato spaghetti with the spinach. Set aside.
- Melt a the coconut oil in a big skillet over medium heat.
- Toast the olives for about 2 minutes, the add the oats, garlic, zest, oregano, and Italian seasoning.
- Cook the oats and olives, stirring frequently, until the oats darken and become fragrant. This will take about 10-15 minutes. If the oats don't appear to be darkening, stir less.
- When the oats are toasted, stir in the crushed red pepper. Add salt if needed, but you can probably skip it since the olives are pretty salty.
- Re-warm the pasta if need be.
- To serve, divide the pasta among the serving bowls and toss with the basil. Add a handful of oats over top and spoon on crushed tomatoes/tomato sauce as desired. Finish off with a drizzle of olive oil.