Spaghetti With Greens and Cherry Tomatoes

March 8, 2013

Spaghetti with Greens and Cherry Tomatoes

All spaghetti is not created equal. There is spaghetti with meatballs, spaghetti carbonara, spaghetti with alfredo sauce and there is MY RECIPE for whole wheat spaghetti with greens and cherry tomatoes.
Is there a difference? I believe there is. A huge one. Mine is better, much much better.
Not just because I made it (although that’s a big part of it), but mostly because mine it’s healthier, much healthier.
It’s actually more of a “greens and tomatoes with pasta” than “pasta with greens and tomatoes”. Which is a good thing: less carbs, more veggies. Lots of veggies.
That’s the way we roll over here, the healthy way.

Spaghetti with Greens and Cherry Tomatoes

As with almost all Italian recipes involving pasta, it’s super simple. You’ll just need a couple of ingredients to work the magic.
The downside (if there is indeed one) is that you need to select only top quality “stuff”: fresh produce and the best brand of spaghetti you can lay your hands on. If not, it would be just a mere illusion, not proper Italian magic.
Let’s start with greens. I used turnip greens but you might as well use kale, collard greens or spinach. Turnip greens works best though.
When you buy turnip greens look for those with the brighter green leaves. Darker shades tend to have a bitter aftertaste that might be hard to work with. Pick organic cherry tomatoes, sweet as strawberries, none of that watery non sense.
When it comes to spaghetti, choose the more expensive brands. Those that cook al dente and don’t turn into a mushy gluey thing.
Once you have gathered all the right ingredients you can cook this “magic” pasta.

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Greens and Cherry Tomatoes
Spaghetti with Greens and Cherry Tomatoes                                                      Print this recipe!

Serves 4

¾ lb / 10 oz / 300 gr whole wheat spaghetti
1 lb / 450 gr turnip greens (you can also use kale, spinach, or collard greens)
1 cup / 5.3 oz / 150 gr cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 garlic clove, unpeeled
1 small chili pepper, finely chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
grated Parmesan cheese (if you’re not vegan)


Thoroughly wash the turnip greens (or other greens you’re using). Trim the larger stems, and roughly chop the leaves.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop the chopped turnip greens and boil for 4 to 5 minutes. Fish them out with a slotted spoon, keeping the water in the pot for the pasta.
Place the unpeeled garlic clove on a chopping board. Place the blade of a large, wide knife on top of the clove. Using the palm of your hand, press the blade down onto the clove, crushing it and splitting the skin.
In a large skillet heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, add garlic, and chili pepper. Saute’ for 2 minutes until everything is fragrant. Stir in the turnip greens and saute’ for 30 seconds or so. You want the turnip greens to absorb the flavors but at the same time you don’t want them to get bitter, which happens if you leave stir fry for too long. Finally, add the cherry tomatoes and salt and turn the heat off.
Cook the spaghetti al dente, drain in a colander, reserving some of the cooking water.
Add pasta to the skillet and saute’ over high heat for about 1 minute, until all the flavors combine. Add a couple of tablespoons of the reserved cooking water, if the pasta looks dry.
Serve immediately, sprinkled with a drizzle of olive oil (and some grated parmesan cheese, unless you’re vegan).

Nutrition facts

One serving of this spaghetti has 245 calories, with 8 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs and 4.5 grams of protein.


  1. Looks sooooo good, I'm drooling over my keyboard...

  2. looks very light and tasty! yummy:)

  3. This looks so good! I usually shy away from pasta because it tends to be soo unhealthy, but this looks so delicious and healthy! Definitely trying it. Pinned!

  4. GREAT BLOG!!!!

  5. i made this last night and it was amazing! i hope you don't mind that i linked this recipe to my blog :)

    1. Thank you Shaka, I'm really glad that you liked it!
      Of course I don't mind, to the contrary, it's awesome that you linked the recipe in your blog. :)