The Italian staple dish pasta is pretty popular around the world. It’s easy to cook and extremely delicious and is an especially good choice if you need to whip up something tasty really quickly.
However, it has become infamous with health freaks, due to oodles of cheese and other fattening additions to the dish. The dish is back in vogue now though, and how!
The truth is, pasta alone doesn’t make you fat.
If you’ve ever been to Italy, you may have marvelled at how Italians maintain their slim figures when they consume carb-laden dishes on a daily basis. Here’s the deal: They use simple, wholesome, and fresh ingredients—and they keep things small.
How To Eat Pasta To Lose Weight- A Nutritionist’s View
Recently, a study concluded that eating pasta won’t make you fat but might even help you shed a few pounds!
First up, it is important to know that no one food can lead to weight gain. There are a variety of kinds of pasta available in the market – from spaghetti, penne, macaroni, fusilli, fettuccine and others. They are made from the dough of wheat mixed with water or eggs and are rich in carbohydrates.
Understand Pasta Composition
Pasta is made up of primary carbs and some protein. But the reason it is so infamous in the weight loss segment is because of its composition, which makes it an energy-dense food. You’d be surprised to know that one cup of pasta makes up for the carbohydrate requirement of a sedentary person for the whole day.
Now, the thing that makes pasta high calorie is the fact that it is always prepared in cheese, high-calorie sauces, which makes it a complex food. And not to miss out on the large serving size of pasta.
Here comes to the rescue, whole wheat pasta!
It has fewer carbs than your regular pasta and comes with some amount of fibre, which is missing otherwise. This also makes you feel full faster, so chances are you won’t be able to finish that whole generous plate of pasta.
Moreover, there are a whole new variety of healthy kinds of pasta available in the market – gluten-free, fibre-rich and protein-enhanced, a small serving of which will make you feel full faster. Also, there are kinds of pasta made from different grains that are healthier- like buckwheat or rice.
The latest being the spiralled vegetable pasta – which is, without doubt, the best option.
SPIRALIZED ZOODLES MARINARA (ZUCCHINII NOODLES WITH CHUNKY TOMATO SAUCE)
Zoodles, or noodles made from zucchini, have taken the healthy-foodie world by storm. Once you substitute this versatile squash into your pasta dishes, you’ll be liable to ditch the carby, floury stuff. Zucchinis contain riboflavin, a B vitamin essential for red blood cell production and carb-burning.
• 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup diced white onions
• 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced (or pressed)
• 1 (28-ounce) diced tomatoes
• 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
• 1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
• 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or a pinch of cayenne)
• 2 large zucchini, spiralized
• freshly-grated Parmesan cheese, for grating
• Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
• Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, then stir to combine. Continue cooking until the sauce reaches a simmer. Then reduce heat to medium-low and continue to let the sauce simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the oil on the surface is a deep orange and the sauce is reduced and thickened. Taste, and season the sauce with additional salt and pepper if needed.
• Add in the spiralized zucchini and toss until it is evenly coated with sauce. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the noodles are slightly softened.
• Remove from the heat and serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan cheese.
CREAMY WHOLE WHEAT PENNE PASTA SALAD WITH TOMATO & SPINACH
• 9 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta
• 1 cup Greek yoghurt
• 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper flakes
• ground pepper, to taste
• 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on the size
• 2 cups baby spinach
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
1. Over the medium-high heat, boil a pot of water. When it boils, add some salt then put the pasta. Follow the number of minutes indicated in the package for cooking.
2. When the pasta is cooked, transfer it to a colander positioned under the faucet then run the cold water through it to stop the cooking. Drain well then transfer to a big bowl.
3. In a small bowl, mix the yoghurt, Parmesan, extra virgin olive oil, pepper flakes, salt and ground pepper.
4. In the big bowl of pasta, mix in the yoghurt dressing, tomatoes, spinach and onions.
PESTO PASTA SALAD
• 2 cups baby spinach (about 2 oz.)
• 1 cup basil leaves (about 3/4 oz.)
• 3 tablespoons (about 3/4 oz.) grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic (from 1 large garlic clove)
• 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• 1 (8-oz.) pkg. chickpea pasta ( can use semolina pasta)
• 2 cups cherry tomatoes (about 11 oz.)
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 3 tablespoons roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
• 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt (such as Maldon)
1. Combine spinach, basil, cheese, garlic, pepper, kosher salt, and 3 tablespoons of the oil in a mini food processor. Process until mostly smooth, about 10 seconds, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Set aside.
2. Cook pasta in a stockpot according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Transfer pasta to a colander; drain and rinse with hot water.
3. Return pot to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and tomatoes; cook, stirring occasionally until tomatoes start to soften and skins split slightly 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Add pasta; cook, stirring often until warmed through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add spinach mixture and 1/4 cup of the pasta water to tomato-pasta mixture; toss gently. Add more pasta water if necessary.
5. Sprinkle with parsley, pumpkin seeds, and flaky sea salt; toss gently. Serve immediately.
By Priyanshi Bhatnagar