Pasta, apart from being one of the cornerstone foods of the Mediterranean diet, is a great favorite because it requires so little time to prepare. It also comes with great health benefits: it is rich in carbohydrates and fiber, it has selenium and manganese and it also has folate and carotenoids.
Pasta is eaten with an accompaniment so you have to be careful to choose those that are low in calories if you want to have a healthy meal. There are plenty of pasta recipes that you can make, but let us look at 7 that are healthy and that are also very easy to prepare. It is important to note that there are different kinds of pasta – spaghetti, macaroni, noodles and penne are just examples.
Penne with shrimp, feta and olives
All these are ingredients that you can find easily in the supermarket.
– 8 ounces of penne
– Half a pound of medium shrimp already prepared
– Some freshly ground black pepper
– 2 tables olive oil
– 1 clove of garlic
– ½ an onion, thinly sliced
– ½ head of fennel, cored and thinly sliced
– ¼ cup white wine
– 1 15 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
– ¼ cup of pitted olives, roughly chopped
– ¼ cup of feta cheese, scrambled
– 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
1. Cook the penne as directed on the packet. Before you drain, save a cup of the water.
2. Pat the shrimp dry and season with the salt and pepper. Using a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon full of the olive oil. Add the shrimp and cook until pink in the middle. Put on a plate.
3. Heat the remaining olive oil, add onion, garlic and fennel and season with salt and pepper and then cook until golden brown. Stir in wine and tomatoes and then stir in the olives, shrimp and penne and then add the reserved pasta water to lighten the paste. Serve, sprinkle with the feta and oregano.
Pasta with roasted red peppers and goat cheese
For those days when you literally have just minutes to prepare a meal, this recipe is just perfect.
– 2 tablespoons of olive oil
– 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
– 1 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers
– Salt and freshly ground red pepper
– 3 ounces goat cheese
– ¾ pound any kind of pasta
– 4 large basil leaves sliced
1. As you are boiling water for the pasta, heat the olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the red peppers and stir for about a minute. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the basil and the cheese.
2. When water is boiled, salt it and then add the pasta. Take out a cup of the boiling water and add it to the red peppers and stir it in until the cheese starts to melt. Drain pasta. Your meal is ready to serve.
Spaghetti with asparagus and lemon
This is also another very easy pasta recipe and it is filling and healthy.
– 1 pound of whole-wheat spaghetti
– 1 lemon
– 1 bunch of asparagus
– ½ cup ground parmesan cheese
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– Freshly ground black pepper
1. Cook the spaghetti as directed. Before you drain, take out half a cup of the water.
2. Grate the zest from the lemon and squeeze out the 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Trim the asparagus into ribbons.
3. Still in the pot, toss the spaghetti asparagus, lemon zest, lemon juice, cheese, salt and pepper and add enough of the spaghetti water to make a thin sauce. Your meal is ready. You can grate a little more parmesan to sprinkle after you serve.
Tuna and olive pasta salad
Pasta can also be enjoyed as a salad, so try this out.
– 8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
– ¼ cup pesto
– 1 can oil-packed tuna
– ¼ cup kalamata olives pitted
1. Cook pasta as instructed on the package. Reserve ¼ cup of the pasta water, drain the rest and run the pasta under cold water. Return it to the pot.
2. Put the pesto and 2 tablespoons of the pasta water in a bowl and whisk. Put it into the pasta together with the tuna (drained), olives and black pepper. Toss. Your salad is ready to eat.
Greek pasta with tomatoes and white beans
This recipe is also easy to prepare and takes very little time.
– 2 cans diced tomatoes
– 1 can of cannellini beans
– 10 ounces fresh spinach
– 8 ounces penne
– ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
1. Cook the pasta as directed on the packet.
2. Put tomatoes and beans in a non-stick pan. Boil over medium heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add the spinach and then stir continuously for 2 minutes until spinach is wilted.
4. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce and sprinkle some feta cheese.
Ziti with tomato-pesto sauce
Ziti is one of the most common pasta meals among Italians. Try this recipe and find out why they love it so much.
– 12 ounces ziti pasta
– 2 tablespoons pesto
– 1 jar tomato basil pasta sauce
– ½ cup parmesan cheese
1. Cook the ziti pasta as directed on the package and drain.
2. To make tomato-pesto sauce, mix the pesto and basil pasta sauce in a pan and stir. Leave it to simmer and add salt to taste.
3. Toss the pasta with the tomato-pesto sauce.
4. Serve and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Pesto chicken Florentine
We haven’t tried pasta with chicken yet, so here you go.
– 4 skinned chicken breasts cut into strips
– 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
– 1 package dry alfredo sauce mix
– 2 tablespoons pesto
– 8 ounces penne
– 1 tablespoon grated romano cheese
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1. Cook penne as directed on the packet.
2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook for about 8 minutes each side. When almost ready, add the spinach and stir until spinach wilts.
3. Prepare alfredo sauce as directed on packet and stir in 2 tablespoons of pesto.
4. Add the chicken and spinach to the pasta and stir in the mixture of alfredo and pesto. Serve and top with the grated cheese.
There! 7 healthy pasta recipes that you can make in just minutes. Bon appetit!