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Rotini with spicy red pepper and almond sauce

Rotini in a bowl and almonds.

Makes 4 servings.


8 ounces whole-wheat rotini (spiral) pasta

1/2 cup whole natural almonds, unsalted

1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers

1 tablespoon garlic, roughly chopped (about 2 to 3 cloves)

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 tablespoon dried basil or parsley

1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Ground black pepper, to taste


  • In a 4-quart saucepan, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat.
  • Add pasta, and cook according to package directions for the shortest recommended time, about 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
  • While the pasta cooks, toast almonds in a toaster oven or regular oven at 350 degrees until lightly toasted, about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, add roasted red peppers and liquid, garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, basil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add cooled almonds to the sauce in the processor. Pulse until the almonds are chunky.
  • After draining the pasta, return to pot. Add almond sauce. Toss until pasta is well-coated.
  • Divide into four equal portions (about 2 cups each).

Tip: Try adding chicken or seafood—or, for a vegetarian meal, just add cooked lima beans or edamame (green soybeans).

Nutrition information

Serving size: 2 cups pasta. Amount per serving: 322 calories, 10g total fat (1g saturated fat), 383mg sodium, 9g total fiber, 12g protein, 0mg cholesterol, 49g carbohydrates, 47mg potassium.

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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