Like death and taxes, junk mail is just a part of life. As a card-carrying member of the ADA—excuse me, the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics—I get quite a lot of nutrition-related junk mail.

Some it goes right into the trash, but some of it gets looked over. Last week I received a mailing from Tufts—it was an advertisement for their Health & Nutrition Newsletter, which is actually a pretty good source of information. I’ve actually considered subscribing, but it haven’t really gotten around to it.

Fight cancer with pasta?

Come-on pamphlets kind of turn me off, but I wanted to share an ingredient they included for a “Cancer-Fighting Pasta Recipe.” Chris and I had a good laugh over the name (what does it mean to “fight” cancer, exactly—prevent, cure? slow progression of?), but when I took a look, it actually sounded pretty good…


  • 2 tsp olive oil, divider
  • 4 tsp panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp anchovy paste or 1 anchovy filet, minced
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 oz (1 1/4 c) whole grain penne pasta
  • 1 cup broccoli florets (1″ bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Black pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for cooking pasta
  2. Combine 1 tsp oil and panko in small skillet. Place over medium heat and toast, stirring constantly, until golden brown (3-5 min.). Transfer to small bowl.
  3. Heat remaining 1 tsp oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until softened and starting to brown (4 to 5 min.). Add garlic, anchovy, red pepper; cook until fragrant (20 to 30 sec.). Remove from heat.
  4. Add pasta to boiling water, cook 5 min. Add broccoli and cauliflower; cook until pasta is al dente and vegetables are tender. Reserve 2/3 cup cooking water; drain pasta. Add pasta, vegetables, reserved water, cheese, and black pepper to onion mixture in skillet. Cook over medium heat, tossing for 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with toasted panko.

I’ve been really out of the habit of making pasta, so I think I’m going to have to give this a try sometime soon (sans anchovy for Chris).

Do you have a favorite pasta dish? 

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