PASTA- A favorite comfort food, quick, easy to prepare and cool and definitely tastes good. But with those carbs, it is still healthy just make sure that you control the portion sizes and add more lean protein and vegetables so you feel full and satisfied. Plus, it is better to skip the “regular” white pasta, which is made from refined grains. Instead opt for whole-wheat pasta, which has more fiber—shown to help you lose weight and of course, way healthier than the white pasta. Try these delicious low-calorie pasta recipes this weekend.
1. Spicy Spinach and Garlic Pasta
For some additional heat, add some chili flakes.
- 200 grams angel hair pasta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 whole garlic , chopped
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, torn into small pieces
- chili flakes (optional)
- salt, to season
1 Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.
2 In a heavy skillet, heat oil. Add garlic and saute until translucent. Do not let it brown.
3 Add spinach leaves, and saute just until they wilt. Add a pinch of chili flakes and season with salt.
4 Toss the garlic spinach sauce with the pasta and serve.
2. Chicken Piccata with Pasta & Mushrooms
- 6 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 4 chicken cutlets, (3/4-1 pound total), trimmed
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 10-ounce package mushrooms, sliced
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
- 2 teaspoons butter
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse.
- Meanwhile, whisk 5 teaspoons flour and broth in a small bowl until smooth. Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish. Season chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper and dredge both sides in the flour. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; cover and keep warm.
- Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add garlic and wine to the pan and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the reserved broth-flour mixture, lemon juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in parsley, capers, butter and the reserved mushrooms. Measure out 1/2 cup of the mushroom sauce. Toss the pasta in the pan with the remaining sauce. Serve the pasta topped with the chicken and the reserved sauce.
3. Linguine with Escarole & Shrimp
Best served with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and whole-grain bread.
- 8 ounces whole-wheat linguine
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp, (16-20 per pound)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 16 cups thinly sliced escarole, (2-3 heads) or chard leaves
- 1/4 cup clam juice, or water (see Shopping Tip)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 6 lemon wedges, for garnish
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook linguine until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, heat 3 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook until pink and curled, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Add garlic and the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add wine and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes. Add escarole (or chard) in handfuls, stirring until it wilts before adding more; cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Whisk clam juice (or water) and cornstarch in a small bowl then add to the pan; simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the pan, add lemon juice, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
- Drain the linguine and return it to the pot. Add the sauce; toss to coat. Serve with lemon wedges.
4. Pork & Bok Choy Stir-Fry
It is recommended that you serve this with sliced cucumbers dressed with rice-wine vinegar and a glass of sauvignon blanc.
- 8 ounces soba or rice noodles
- 3/4-1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup Shao Hsing rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil or canola oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 pound bok choy (about 1 medium head), trimmed and cut into long, thin strips
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce (see Note)
- Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Meanwhile, slice pork into thin rounds; cut each round into matchsticks. Whisk water, rice wine (or sherry), soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl.
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add bok choy and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the pork, garlic and chile-garlic sauce; cook, stirring, until the pork is just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Whisk the cornstarch mixture again, add it to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened, 2 to 4 minutes. Serve the pork and vegetables over the noodles.
5. Braised Cauliflower & Squash Penne Pasta
In this braised cauliflower and squash penne pasta recipe, we cook the pasta and vegetables in broth rather than water to make this warming vegetarian pasta extra flavorful. The starch from the pasta and vegetables combines with the broth as it simmers and creates a silky sauce. And you can make the whole dish in just one pot, so cleanup is a breeze.
Makes: 4 servings
Serving Size: about 1 1/2 cups each
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 cups “no-chicken” broth (see Tips) or vegetable broth
- 8 ounces whole-wheat penne (about 3 cups)
- 2 cups 1-inch cauliflower florets
- 2 cups 1-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (see Tips)
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, thyme and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth, penne, cauliflower and squash. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a lively simmer and cook, uncovered, until the pasta is tender and the liquid is thickened and greatly reduced, 14 to 16 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in pepper and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve topped with cheese.