When asked what my favorite food is, I can say without hesitation that it’s pasta. A common misconception is that you can’t eat pasta if you want to eat healthy. In reality, you have to eat the right kind of pasta. If you’re not eating whole wheat pasta, you should be. Wheat pasta provides complex carbohydrates which give you energy and help support the brain and nervous system. White pasta is technically a complex carb too, but it’s refined and starchy, which makes it act like a simple carb (think: cakes, cookies, candy…result in a fast spike of energy, but wears off quickly). Wheat pasta is digested at a slower pace and helps provide lasting, sustained energy. Whole wheat pasta also contains a moderate amount of iron, which is good news for vegetarians and vegans.
Heatlhy Tip: Always add vegetables to your pasta dish. Adding a generous amount of veggies will add bulk to your portion without adding a ton of calories. Making pasta with a traditional red sauce? Add sauteed bell peppers, onion, and mushrooms. Making an alfredo? Add peas and broccoli.
Active Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes
12 oz whole wheat penne
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1.5 cups grape tomatoes, halved
2 cups of baby spinach
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp pasta water
¼ cup chopped basil
½ cup part skim ricotta cheese, broken up into small clumps.
Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside, reserving 2 tbsp of pasta water. Meanwhile, heat olive oil over medium heat and add garlic. Saute 1-2 minutes and add tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Add the pasta and spinach to the pan and off the heat. Stir and cover until spinach is wilted. Add the parmesan cheese and pasta water and toss to coat. Top with basil and ricotta cheese.
Nutrition Information per serving:
Calories: 402 Fat: 19g Carbs: 50g Protein: 16g Sodium: 117mg Sugar: 3g
*Nutrition information is based on the products I used personally in this recipe. Different products may yield slightly different information.