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Is pasta healthy? (+ 5 healthy pasta recipes)

  1. Pasta remains a real favorite for many people. Because what could be better than a large plate of macaroni on a weekday evening? Or a quick pasta salad for an easy and filling lunch? Still, many people leave pasta in the meantime because it would be unhealthy. And that is completely unnecessary!

  1. Of course not all pasta recipes are good for you. However, it is not at all difficult to put a healthy pasta meal on the table. As an example, we give you no less than five healthy pasta recipes in our blog today. You will also receive some general tips to make all your favorite dishes a bit healthier!

Is pasta healthy?

  1. Pasta itself has a pretty bad name. This is partly understandable: the â € ˜normalâ € ™ pasta in the supermarket is made with white flour, and therefore contains mainly fast carbohydrates. That means little fiber, and therefore poor satiating effect. Especially if you are trying to lose weight, that is quite inconvenient.

  1. But whole grain pasta is a great choice to eat regularly, as long as you use healthy pasta recipes. The quality brands contain hardly anything other than wholemeal flour, water, egg and salt. That is comparable to what is in good wholemeal bread â € “also a product that we certainly do not advise against.

The problem is the sauce!

  1. So why does it so often go wrong with pasta? Apart from that white flour, the main problem is the sauce. In the Netherlands we usually do not use the best ingredients for this. Firmly processed meat, grated cheese that is not real cheese at all, a lot of cream and sometimes even sugar â € ¦ No wonder that has a bad reputation!

  1. It goes without saying that this way of eating is described as â € unhealthyâ € ™. Of course you can sometimes sin and spoon into a large plate of old-fashioned macaroni with ham and cheese. But if you want to eat pasta more often - in a healthy way - do as the Italians do:

  1. Swap that big ladle for a civilized serving spoon and add less sauce. In the healthy pasta recipes of Italy it is about the pasta, not the sauce. And you will find, if you don't drown your pasta in a big pool of cream or oil, it tastes a lot better.

  1. In Italy you eat pasta as a starter, not as a main course. So a small portion. In the Netherlands it is probably not feasible on your weekday to serve several courses in the evening â € “and rightly so! But you can eat pasta in a smaller portion! Serve with a nice salad and a piece of meat (substitute) for a complete meal.

  1. Instead of half a bag of grated Dutch cheese, you prefer to use Parmesan cheese. It is so tasty that you only need very little of it. So with a little Parmesan cheese your pasta tastes good and it delivers a lot less calories - if you stick to a little.

  1. No self-respecting Italian uses pasta sauce from packages and sachets. Instead, the sauce is made fresh from tomatoes, stock, herbs and cream. That saves a lot of unhealthy additives and immediately creates a lot healthier pasta recipes!

Try vegetable paste

  1. Do you want to go a little further to make your plate of pasta healthier? Then you can easily make your meal leaner and more vegetable-rich by replacing (part of) your pasta with vegetables. For example, at Albert Heijn you can already find pre-cut zucchini pasta and pumpkin pasta.

  1. If you want to get as close as possible to the taste and texture of regular pasta, it is best to cook zucchini pasta very briefly, maximum two minutes. After all, you don't want a disintegrating gunk on your plate. A frying pan with a few spoons of oil is also an option.

  1. Then drain or pat the courgettes dry, so that they really retain as much of their bite as possible in the final dish. Season them with salt, pepper or Italian herbs if necessary.

  1. The easy thing about zucchini pasta is that you can basically follow any of your regular pasta recipes, simply replacing the pasta with the zucchini. It is delicious with regular tomato sauce and meatballs, or with homemade pesto and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Only cream sauce is less suitable: the zucchini does not hold the cream as well.

  1. You can use the same preparation method for pumpkin pasta. An advantage is that this paste does well with creamy sauces. How about the following suggestions for healthy 'pasta' recipes:

  1. Not so in the Italian spheres? The great thing about pumpkin pasta is that you can also use it as a substitute for noodles. After all, pumpkin also goes well with Asian spices. For example, make noodles with it!

Tips for healthier pasta sauce

  1. The following tips will also help you to make any pasta sauce healthier:

5 healthy pasta recipes

  1. Are you still lacking inspiration? Or are you mainly looking for some new tasty ideas? Then these five healthy pasta recipes are a great place to start!

  1. Cook pasta for four people. Fry a chopped shallot with a clove of garlic and add 300 grams of shrimps. Season with salt and pepper and fry until the prawns are just cooked. Remove from pan.

  1. Fry 400 grams of broccoli and a red pepper (in florets and cubes) in a little more oil until crispy. Add a dash of stock and lemon juice to taste, reduce again with the shrimp and add the pasta. Serve with parsley and Parmesan cheese.

  1. Cook whole grain spaghetti for four people. Briefly fry 2 tsp tomato paste in a dash of olive oil. Then add 2 bell peppers (in cubes) and fry until done. Add 300 grams of drained tuna (possibly from a can), 350 grams of tomato cubes and a bay leaf. Season with capers and black olives, and serve with Parmesan and black pepper.

  1. Cook pasta for four people. Meanwhile, cut 1 zucchini and 10 asparagus into pieces (or choose other green vegetables, such as broccoli). Fry the vegetables with some garlic, and add another 200 g peas towards the end. Mix with the pasta, 1 tbsp of cooking water, a few good tablespoons of cottage cheese, and Parmesan to taste. Season with chives, red chili flakes, salt and pepper.

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Cut 1 aubergine, 1 zucchini and 1 bell pepper into cubes, place on a baking tray and drizzle with some oil. Roast for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta for four people. Heat a packet of diced tomatoes in a large pan. Remove the vegetables from the oven, stir them into the tomato cubes and add 150 g feta. Mix with the pasta and season with salt and pepper.

  1. You can also use chicken instead of feta. Then fry the chicken cubes while the vegetables are in the oven and stir them through the pasta at the end.

  1. Cook pasta for four people. Cut 300 g chicken fillet into pieces and fry in some oil. In a blender, combine 1 clove of garlic, 1 avocado, 2 generous handfuls of fresh spinach, 1 handful of almonds, and fresh basil and lemon juice to taste. Blend until smooth: add some of the pasta cooking water if it is too thick for your taste. Mix the pasta with the sauce and the chicken and serve with Parmesan cheese.

  1. Looking for more healthy pasta recipes? On our new platform FitChef you will find dozens of great ideas!

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