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Whole-grain pasta with 'burnt' onions and spinach

Whole-grain pasta with 'burnt' onions and spinach

1 (12-ounce) box whole grain pasta

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups whole baby spinach leaves

1/4 cup shredded parmesan or Romano cheese

Makes 3 to 4 servings.

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and add onions. Cook without stirring about 2 minutes until they begin to brown. Once the onions are golden begin to stir occasionally until they become a deep brown color. Add the cooked pasta to the onions along with the spinach leaves. Combine well until the spinach wilts. Sprinkle cheese over the top before serving.

The onion is really caramelized, but I'm told it's often stretched to a burnt brown. Some of the new whole-grain pastas are very flavorful and loaded with fiber and nutrients, something that kids need desperately. If spinach doesn't cut it with your kids, omit it or substitute any favorite chopped vegetable like broccoli. I usually use baby spinach leaves, which are tender and small.

Nutritional information per serving: 366 calories, 17 percent calories from fat, 7 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 66 g carbohydrates, 8 g total fiber, 4 g total sugars, 58 g net carbs, 16 g protein, 153 mg sodium.

If you have questions about a vegetarian ingredient or recipes you would like Steve Petusevsky to make meatless for you, send them to Vegetarian Today, Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2293. Or send an e-mail with your full name, address and telephone number to with "Vegetarian Today" in the subject line.