8 Ways to Cook Healthy with Pasta
Click through to see these tips on making healthy pasta.
Tip #1: Whole Grain Pasta
Purchase 100 percent whole-grain pasta, high in fiber. It is less processed, has less chemicals, and is a healthier choice. It may contain about 200 calories per serving, while low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol, and rich in B vitamins to improve metabolism.
Carmine's Pasta Giardiniera
While giardiniera is traditionally a pickled Italian dish, chef Glenn Rolnick chooses to use it to describe his signature pasta dish that is a favorite at his New York City restaurant Carmine's.
Health Tip: Skip the heavy cream and only use a ½ cup of cheese, whether in the sauce or for serving.
Tip #2: Add Healthy Ingredients
Chop up some broccoli, peppers, spinach, and sweet onions and toss them on top of your plain pasta and mix in with a tablespoon of olive oil for a yummy, healthy side dish with your meal.
Credit: George Doyle
Orecchiette with Duck Sausage, Escarole, and Cannellini Beans
Starch from the cannellini beans helps to create a creamy, thick sauce with the chicken stock in this recipe from Chef Zamora, and will make you think as if you're enjoying something indulgent.
Health Tip: instead of the sausage, make it a vegetarian meal with an addition of broccoli or bell pepper.
Click here to see the Orecchiette with Duck Sausage, Escarole, and Cannellini Beans Recipe
Credit: ATRIO Restaurant
Tip #3: Tri-Color Pasta, Mushrooms, and Chickpeas
Look for the tri-color pastas for a different and fun way to eat. Mix in some chickpeas and mushrooms for some added flavor, and stir in with a spoonful of olive oil. Sprinkle a small amount of fresh Parmesan cheese on top for more flavor. Chickpeas are low in fat, rich in dietary fiber, and full of vitamins and minerals. Mushrooms are rich in potassium, which can help lower elevated cholesterol.
Credit: Flickr/Cookbook man
A true testament to the simple beauties of Italian cooking, this pasta dish is one of chef Steve Martorano's favorite late-night snacks.
Health Tip: While great by itself, this recipe can easily be use the addition of meat or vegetables to make it a more rounded out meal.
Click here to see the Sicilian-Style Linguine Recipe
Credit: Steve Martorano
Take #4: Make The Cheesiness Healthy
Melt a slim slice of 100 percent all natural Cheddar cheese on top of your pasta for some added flavor, rich in calcium and protein.
Randy's Lemon Capellini
Randy Feloni brings his expertise out of the wardrobe and into your kitchen with this lemon cappellini recipe. Easy and simple to make, it's also good for you too.
Health Tip: While the recipe is already pretty healthy, you could swap in whole grain pasta for the ultimate guilt-free pasta.
Click here to see Randy's Lemon Capellini Recipe
Credit: Randy Fenoli
Pasta is such a popular food because of its diverse qualities, as it can be prepared in so many different and unique ways. For many, pasta can be a main dish, but others like to prepare it as a side. It comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors and is delicious hot, cold, fresh from the pot, or as leftovers.
Over the years, pasta has gotten a bad rap. Because of the large amount of carbohydrates found in pasta, many people associate it with weight gain and believe that enjoying a bowl is at a cost to their waist line. Believe it or not, though, it is possible to eat and cook healthy with pasta. When prepared appropriately, pasta has many positive benefits in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and it can satisfy numerous dietary needs. What's more is that pasta is a great vehicle for enjoying other healthy foods that improve your diet as well, such as proteins, vegetables, and in some dishes, even fruit.
The most important thing to remember about pasta is that when you prepare it at home, you — as the chef — have complete control over making sure it was cooked in a healthy manner. There's no better way to demonstrate this then by sharing some of our favorite chefs' pasta recipes with you and showing you how you can get the same flavor from a restaurant dish while make it healthy too. Whether you're a sauce fanatic or can't enjoy it without cheese, here are 10 easy tips to follow, plus recipes, for how to cook and enjoy healthy pasta at home.