Cherry Tomato, Macadamia, Walnut and Silverbeet Pasta

Cherry Tomato, Macadamia, Walnut and Silverbeet Pasta

Cherry Tomato, Macadamia, Walnut and Silverbeet Pasta

Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins
Serves: 4

2 Tbsp olive oil 
2 cloves garlic, crushed 
1/2 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped (60g) 
1/2 cup raw, unsalted macadamias, roughly chopped (70g) 
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs 
400g dry spaghetti 
500g cherry tomatoes, halved 
1/2 bunch silverbeet or kale leaves, torn 
zest of 1 lemon 
1/4 cup chopped parsley 
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper 

Warm half the olive oil and half the garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Add all the breadcrumbs, and half the walnuts and macadamias. Cook, stirring regularly for 5-6 minutes until fragrant and toasted. Tip into a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside. 
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook spaghetti according to packet directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking water. 
While pasta cooks, return the large skillet to medium-high heat and drizzle in remaining olive oil. Add cherry tomatoes and remaining garlic. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes, until tomatoes begin to break down. 
Add reserved pasta cooking water, silverbeet, and remaining walnuts and macadamias to pan with tomatoes. Cook for a minute or two, until greens are just wilted. Remove from heat and stir through lemon zest. 
Add parsley to cooled breadcrumb mixture. Serve pasta with generous spoonfuls of sauce, and plenty of nutty breadcrumbs on top. 

Tips: You can find fresh breadcrumbs at good grocery stores, or make your own by pulsing a slice or two of day-old sourdough in a food processor.

Recipe and images by Jennifer Jenner for Nuts for Life

Five Reasons To Go Nuts This Winter

Snacking on a handful of nuts a day could help you avoid the unwanted kilo creep this winter.

Nuts for Life Dietitian Belinda Neville says snacking on nutrient-rich nuts is a great and easy way to combat unhealthy eating habits that often arise as the weather turns cold.

"During the cold weather, your metabolism revs up to warm your body, making you hungrier," said Ms Neville. "This can leave you craving foods like creamy pastas, pies and other heavy meals, but comfort eating doesn't need to weigh you down.

"Choosing healthier foods that have a combination of good fats, protein and fibre, like nuts, can curb cravings and help keep you feeling fuller for longer – so you are less likely to over eat at your next meal.

"As well as helping to manage your weight, a handful of nuts a day provides important nutrients for immunity, heart health and can even lower the GI of carb rich meals."

Here are Nuts for Life dietitian Belinda Neville's top five reasons to go nuts this winter:

Boost Satiety
Nuts are a rich source of healthy unsaturated fats - the 'good' type of fat that helps to switch on satiety hormones in your gut, helping to reduce hunger pangs1-3. Nuts have also been shown to help manage body weight with their combination of protein, fibre and fat, keeping you feeling fuller for longer and thereby helping to control our overall daily food intake.

Burn More Calories
Yes, nuts are high in healthy fats, but that doesn't mean that they will make you fat! Studies show that regularly eating a 30g handful of nuts can actually help to boost your metabolic rate by 5-10 per cent, increasing the amount of calories burned. Also, because we don't actually absorb all of the fat found in nuts, there's no reason to pass them up!

Lower the GI of High Carb Meals
Nuts have a glycemic index-lowering effect. When they are mixed with carbohydrate foods in a meal – like adding pine nuts to your pasta - they help to slow the digestion and release of glucose into your bloodstream, which helps to satisfy your appetite for longer.

Support Immunity
Most tree nuts contain a host of important vitamins and minerals. Cashews are particularly high in zinc, a powerful nutrient required for strong immune function, while Brazil Nuts are high in selenium, an important trace mineral that also helps support immunity. In fact, just two Brazil nuts provide your recommended daily intake of selenium.

Protect Your Heart
Studies show that eating a 30g handful of nuts a day can help to lower your risk of heart diseases. The combination of antioxidants, healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, and fibre can contribute to better heart health. Macadamias are the top nut source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and a tasty way to give your heart some love.

Nuts for Life is Australia's leading nutrition authority on tree nuts and health. The nutrition education initiative educates about the health benefits of regular nut consumption in the Australian diet. It is funded by the Australian Tree Nut Industry and Hort Innovation.