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I have to apologize, folks, I’m a little behind schedule here. The thing is, I’ve been blitzing all over the world. Last week I accompanied Paul on a business trip to Brussels, and then we hopped over to Budapest for a weekend getaway. Now I’m writing from Vancouver, where I’ve dropped in for a one week whirlwind to help pack up my childhood home and attend a wedding. More on all that later. I was organized enough to schedule posts for the quick European getaways, and then it was a very late Sunday evening return to Stockholm, a full day of work on Monday, frantic loads of laundry and repacking a much larger suitcase for an early morning departure for Vancouver on Tuesday. I feel like I’m finally catching my breath. I apologize also for being behind on responding to the comments on the previous two posts; I will get there, I promise. Shortly I’ll write up a travel report on Brussels and Budapest for those who are interested, but for now, let’s make this.

This is a quick lunch. A speedy dinner. It comes together in the time it takes to boil the pasta and then toss everything together. It’s one of my old standbys, something I would very often make at the end of a long day, with extra to pack for lunches. It’s filling, with hearty whole wheat penne, and nutritious. Edamame is a wonder whole food, and, when combined with the pasta, forms a complete protein. The pesto, store bought if you’re tired (or, if, like me, you were gifted with a little jar) or those handy cubes you keep in your freezer is used in moderation and just kisses everything with flavour.

I love using edamame for protein as opposed to more processed forms of soy, like tofu. It is a great source of dietary fiber since the bean is intact, and is rich in protein, and many vitamins and minerals. If edamame isn’t your thing you could substitute green peas, broccoli chopped into teeny florets, or any other number of things.

One year ago: Cranberry Spelt Streusel Cake

Pesto Penne with Edamame Recipe: 

You can use any shape of pasta you like, obviously. I am particularly fond of bow ties, but I wasn’t able to find any that were whole wheat. Whole grain pasta generally takes a little longer to cook, check the instructions on your package and test the noodles regularly near the end of the cooking time.

Serves 4.


250g whole wheat penne

250g frozen shelled edamame

1/2 cup pesto


Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Salt generously, and add the pasta. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is slightly under done – about 10 minutes. Add the edamame to the boiling pasta, stir, and continue to boil for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain the pasta well but do not rinse. Transfer to a large bowl and add the pesto. Toss well, and serve.

Know what you’re eating: what’s good about this? Whole wheat pasta, made from flour with the bran and germ intact, is a significantly better source of fiber and nutrients than the regular wheat version. Bear in mind that pasta portions, particularly in restaurants, are often waaaaaaay larger than they should be. Aim for around a 1 cup serving of cooked whole wheat pasta. Edamame is a great source of both protein and fiber. They’re also a good source of molybdenum, manganese, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B2, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and potassium. Edamame is the best whole, unprocessed form of soy you can find, which makes it a great choice. Opt for organic whenever possible as GMO soy is extremely common.

Pesto sauce, especially if you don’t make it yourself, is often very oily and salty. The amount used here just barely covers the pasta but still brings plenty of flavour. We’re moderating!

Do ahead: This pasta dish can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days. I like to make it and set aside individual portions to pack for lunches.

All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2012