Served warm or cold, this Whole-grain Rotini with No-cook Tomato Sauce gets its healthy traits from the cooking style in the Mediterranean. - ASSOCIATED PRESS

Whole-grain Rotini With No-cook Sauce

Looking for a better way to eat? Think Mediterranean.

Nicci Micco, a nutrition editor at EatingWell magazine, says the common sense (and delicious) Mediterranean diet is packed with healthy nutrients and is great for your waistline.

Micco says the primary guidelines are: Eat plenty of produce; avoid the highest fat meats such as sausage and bacon; eat at least two meals of fish or shellfish a week; season foods with herbs and spices rather than salt; substitute whole grains for processed ones whenever you can; use extra-virgin olive and canola oils instead of animal fats, such as butter.

This recipe is a simple and tasty example of Mediterranean diet principles. It's seasoned with fresh basil and oregano along with scallions and a touch of minced garlic. Be sure to rinse the capers to wash away some of the extra salty brine they are packed in.

How to make it

Start to finish: 45 minutes

Servings: 6


31/2 cups diced, seeded ripe tomatoes

1 bunch scallions, whites and pale greens only, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cup diced fresh mozzarella

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

12 ounces whole-grain rotini pasta


In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, scallions, capers, basil, oregano and garlic. Toss well, then add the vinegar, oil and mozzarella. Toss again to mix.

Season with salt and pepper, then let sit for 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Toss well. Serve warm or cold.

Nutrition per serving (values rounded to nearest whole number): 370 calories; 120 calories from fat; 13 grams fat (3 grams saturated; 0 grams trans fats); 8 milligrams cholesterol; 52 grams carbohydrate; 14 grams protein; 7 grams fiber; 279 milligrams sodium

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