The Italians are known for a recipe called Spaghetti con Sabbia (Spaghetti with Sand), which is made with noodles tossed with butter and bread crumbs. This version calls for toasted wheat germ, which adds extra nourishment. It's a family favorite in my home and the perfect solution for getting dinner on the table in a hurry.

4 ounces spinach ribbon noodles (about 2 cups)

4 ounces medium egg noodles (about 2 cups)

¼ cup butter

½ cup toasted wheat germ

½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste

Dash of salt, or to taste

3 plum tomatoes (at room temperature), sliced

Garnish (optional): sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat; add salt, then the spinach and egg noodles. When the water returns to a boil, stir occasionally to separate the noodles. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or according to package instructions, until al dente. Drain well; set aside and cover to keep warm.

Melt the butter in the pot over medium-high heat. Add the noodles and stir gently until evenly coated, about 3 minutes. Toss in the wheat germ, pepper, and salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Top each serving with tomato slices.