By Marcus Samuelsson | December 29, 2010

Photo: ghirson

Now that winter has begun, and the temperature is dropping, I like to have hearty meal to make it through the cold.  This Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Potatoes is a great dish to share over the holiday with your Kwanzaa guests.  This recipe is a great one dish-meal, which will leave you feeling full but not overly stuffed.

For each of the other dishes I’ve featured for Kwanzaa, I’ve linked it with one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa.  This dish combines many different foods, and respresents all the principes, especially creativity, unity, and purpose.

Check out my other recipes that would be great for celebrating Kwanzaa: Cauliflower Fritters, Jerk Chicken, White Bean Puree, Doro We’t, Spiced Egg Salad and Roasted Eggplant and Plantains.

Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Potatoes Recipe

Servings: 4


  • 2 tbsp plus 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb whole wheat rigatoni
  • 3/4 cup cubed pumpkin(1/4-inch cubes)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Zest from 1 lemon, chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely diced bacon
  • 2 finger chiles, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 3/4 cup cubed Yukon Gold potatoes, (1/4-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup tomato juice
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped marjoram
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded baby spinach
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Shaved parmesan cheese


1. Fill a large pot with water. Add the 2 tablespoons salt and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and bring to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes, or according to the directions on the package. Strain and set aside.

2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in large saute pan over medium heat. Add the pumpkin and saute until just golden around the edges, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and lemon zest and saute for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

3. Heat a separate saute pan over medium heat. Add the bacon, chiles, and potatoes and saute until the bacon is crispy, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato juice, lemon juice, and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 2 minutes. Fold in the sauteed pumpkin and cooked pasta, marjoram, yogurt, spinach, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Serve with the shaved parmesan.

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