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A Quick-and-Easy, After-Work Dinner

By Judith Hausman, Urban Farm contributor

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Photo by Judith Hausman

A quick-and-easy bowl of pasta and vegetables makes for a nice end to a hectic day.

Rough and ready one-bowl dishes, such as this recipe, satisfy at the end of a long day of work or gardening. They are quickly made (about 15 minutes, less if the grain base is already cooked), easy to enjoy, pretty healthy and not bland. The ingredients flex for the seasons, your pantry and your mood.

This recipe represents the way I often eat, probably you, too. Actually, you should see this recipe as no more than a template, which combines any quick-cooking vegetable and grain, spiked with savory flavorings. You can easily add a meat or fish, or don’t use any meat; add cheese or don’t add cheese. Just don’t overdo it with ingredients. 

For example, kale, chard or spinach are also good this way, with cooked rice or barley; capers, soy sauce or anchovies; or bits of ham, bacon or shrimp. You can also sprinkle on some red pepper flakes, if you like. 

Yield: 2 servings 

Broccoli di Rabe, Tuna and Whole-Wheat Pasta


  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large bunch broccoli di rabe, chopped
  • 6 to 8 ounces whole wheat pasta, any shape
  • 1 7-ounce can of tuna, preferably oil-packed
  • 10 to 12 black olives
  • salt and red or black pepper, to taste.


Put up water to boil for the pasta. 

Sauté the garlic in 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil until softened but not browned. 

Add the chopped greens, with a little water or broth, cover and cook for 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta.  

When the pasta is al dente and the greens are still firm, put both into a large bowl with the flaked tuna. (Include the oil from the fish, or add several tablespoons of olive oil.) Add salt and pepper (red or black) to taste. Garnish with black olives, and serve immediately.

You might also enjoy these Locavore Recipes:

Herb and Walnut Pasta

Basil Chicken with Pasta

Read more of Locavore Recipes »

Give us your opinion on A Quick-and-Easy, After-Work Dinner.
Submit Comment »
Looks good
Annie, Houston, TX
Posted: 6/26/2013 8:16:11 AM
Could be good.
Galadriel, Lothlorien, ME
Posted: 5/20/2013 12:04:37 AM
Great idea for a quick meal.
Carl, Livermore, CA
Posted: 5/11/2013 11:24:27 AM

About the Blogger

Judith Hausman

Judith Hausman
As a long-time freelance food writer, Judith Hausman has written about every aspect of food, but local producers and artisanal traditions remain closest to her heart. Eating close to home takes this seasonal eater through a journey of delights and dilemmas, one tiny deck garden, farmers’ market discovery and easy-as-pie recipe at a time. She writes from a still-bucolic but ever-more-suburban town in the New York City 'burbs.

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