food

5 really healthy pasta recipes.

What’s for dinner? If your house is anything like my house, it’s pasta. But these dishes come guilt-free.

Super quick and healthy as well…

Pasta is such a versatile and quick dish that it’s always popular, but it can get unhealthy very quickly if you let it.

Here are five simple steps you can follow to make your pasta dishes healthy without sacrificing any of the flavour…

1. Measure your servings.

I know it is tempting to just guess, but measuring out your portion size is a good option. Allowing approximately 55 grams of dried pasta for one serving will cook into around 1 cup – plenty once you add some sauce, meat or veggies.

2. Load up on veggies.

Try to aim for a ratio of one part pasta to three parts vegetables. Veggies are low in calories, rich in vitamins and minerals, and best of all, add lots of volume to help you feel full. Some great pasta-friendly vegetables are kale, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. And while you’re at it, throw in some lean plant-based proteins like chickpeas or cannellini beans, which are rich in satiating fibre.

3. Go red!

Tomato sauce is brimming with lycopene, an important antioxidant that’s been shown to help fight cancer and heart disease

If given the option, always opt for a red or tomato-based sauce, rather than a creamy one. A quarter cup of creamy sauce can have as much as 140 calories, whereas half a cup of Neapolitan has only 70 calories and 1 gram of fat. Plus, tomato sauce is brimming with lycopene, an important antioxidant that’s been shown to help fight cancer and heart disease. Seems like a no-brainer!

4. Switch to whole grain.

Whole grain pasta has a rich, nutty flavour and will keep you fuller for longer. It's also packed with fibre along with important minerals like magnesium and phosphorus. It takes a little longer to cook but is well worth it.

5. Don't be too cheesy.

The rule here is simple - use smaller amounts of stronger cheeses. Flavours like asiago, parmesan or pecorino are all great options to complement pasta. Don't pile on creamier cheeses like ricotta and mozarella, instead go for a light sprinkling of something like a shaved parmesan - a nice garnish for the eyes.

CLICK THROUGH to see our healthy pasta recipes and if you're on a mobile phone, the words are below the image.

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