Healthy Pasta Recipes - 3 Quick To Cook Tasty Meals With Asparagus, Clams, Green Beans & More

Posted by javanuddin on Thursday, February 23, 2012

Is pasta good for you? There are two answers to this question "Yes" and "No.". Like with most foods pasta is no different. So long as the pasta is the best type, cooked right and that no bad foods are eaten with it, then yes it's good.

Things to watch that can ruin a good food being healthy for you.

If food is over cooked losing all its goodness then that food if you like becomes useless. Then there's the matter of pretty foods. Don't fall into the trap that just because something looks nice means it's good for you. Most fancy dressings and toppings are unhealthy and fattening, and something the dieter needs to avoid.

For those watching their weight, although the way a particular food is cooked plays a large role in keeping the goodness there, a lot depends on eating the right food for it to be classed as healthy and not fattening.

If you want to change your diet and eat more healthily, then bear in mind that no matter how much something is promoted as good for you, that is not a guarantee that it is. Too much of a good food can cause considerable harm especially when it's eaten with bad foods.


If you ask someone where pasta comes from the likely response is Italy, while this is easily understood with the Italians eating a lot of it, however, according to Greek mythology it gives credit to the Greek God Vulcan for inventing a gadget that made the first spaghetti from strips of dough. But then other study traces pasta's roots back to the Etruscans in 400 BC, where the first Lasagna was thought to be made out of whole grain spelt flour.

Who cares where it came from, the important thing is we have it now, so let us get on and enjoy it.

Is Pasta Healthy Food?

The unhealthy side of pasta would include that it is made with white flour, and swimming in a thick creamy sauce. Whole grain al dente pasta with an unsweetened tomato sauce is by far the healthier option. Whole grain al dente pasta is fabulously high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. It is gradually absorbed into the bloodstream and not listed to cause a blood sugar spike.

The benefits of the nutrition, gradual absorption and fiber content helps protect against insulin resistance, constipation, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Pasta is quick and simple to cook but has a lot of carbs, so keep portion size sensible and add more lean protein and vegetables to the dish.

Treat your body to the healthy benefits and try the quick to make tasty pasta meals below.

Healthy recipes

Farfalle with Zucchini and Parsley-Almond Pesto

1lb farfalle
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup unsalted roasted almonds
1 1/2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1lb zucchini (2 medium), halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/8 inch thick
Crushed red pepper
Cooking instructions

Bring a big pot of salted water to the boil. Add farfalle and cook until it is al dente. Drain the farfalle. In a food blender, pulse the garlic. Add the almonds and pulse until they are coarsely chopped. Add the parsley and 1/2 cup of the olive oil and process until the parsley is finely minced. Add the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and pulse just until the pesto is combined. Add salt and pepper and scrape the pesto into a large, shallow serving dish. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the zucchini and cook over a high heat until soft and browned in spots, about 5 minutes. Add the crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the zucchini to the bowl with the pesto. Add the farfalle, toss well and serve.

Penne with Asparagus, Sage and Peas

1/2lb penne
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1lb thick asparagus, cut into 1-inch lengths
2 cups chicken stock
10 ounces shelled English peas or frozen baby peas, thawed
1/4 cup thick cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
Salt and pepper
Cooking instructions

Add the penne to a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and asparagus and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add stock and boil over high heat until reduced by half and the asparagus are soft. Add peas and cream to skillet and boil over high heat until the sauce has thickened, 3 minutes. Stir in the penne and cook until heated through. Remove from the heat and add the butter, sage and the 1/2 cup of cheese. Salt and pepper to preferred taste. Put pasta in to serving bowls and dish up right away.

Spaghetti with Clams and Green Beans

10 ounces green beans
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 large plum tomatoes (1/2 pound), coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
24 littleneck clams (2 pounds) washed
10 large basil leaves, torn
3/4 pound spaghetti
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving (optional)
Cooking instructions

Add green beans to a large pot of boiling salted water and cook until soft. Using a slotted spoon, remove beans and leave aside. Bring the water back to a boil. Using a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat until fragrant, about 60 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to break, about 5 minutes. Add white wine and clams and bring to a boil. Cover skillet and simmer until the clams open. Remove the skillet from the cooker and add green beans and basil.

Add spaghetti to boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain the spaghetti, keeping 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Return the spaghetti to the pot and add the clam and green bean sauce and the reserved pasta cooking water. Toss over moderate heat until the sauce coats the spaghetti, about. Transfer the spaghetti and clams to shallow bowls and serve.

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