Dieters, don’t despair: You don’t need to swear off pasta in order to lose weight. The popular Italian dinner dish is often viewed as a fattening food that’s high in carbs and calories, but Livestrong notes that there is no need to fear pasta. You can enjoy it and still achieve your weight loss goals so long as you follow a few simple steps.
Always choose whole-grain versions, which have a high fiber content that will fill you up quickly, and measure your pasta to help with portion control. Livestrong writes that you should always cook your pasta al dente, choose tomato-based sauces over ones that are creamy, and include 1 to 2 cups of vegetables. These five recipes follow Livestrong’s suggestions, resulting in healthy, low-calorie pasta dinners.
1. Spaghetti with Spinach in a White Wine Garlic Sauce
Skip the heavy cream, butter, and cheese, and prepare spaghetti with spinach in a white wine garlic sauce, a vegan-friendly dish that incorporates fresh produce, a light sauce, and fragrant seasonings. You’ll get a heavy dose of several nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, in Kim Barnouin’s recipe, which is in the cookbook Skinny Bitch: The Everyday Cookbook and can be found via PopSugar. One serving has 228 calories and 7.8 grams of fat.
- 1 box thin spaghetti, uncooked
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided
- 5 medium white or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups vegetable stock, divided
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped into large pieces
- ½ cup white wine
- Parsley leaves, to garnish
Directions: In a large pot, boil water over high heat and cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and the mushrooms, and sauté 5 to 8 minutes until caramelized and golden. Add salt and pepper to taste and cook 1 additional minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons of stock and cook until stock is absorbed. Move the mushrooms to a small bowl. Add another tablespoon of the oil to the sauté pan and the onion. Sauté over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown. Stir in garlic, and sauté 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Spoon the onion and garlic mixture into a small bowl. Return the pan to the stove over medium-high heat and add the remaining oil. Add the spinach and sauté until the spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the stock and cook until absorbed. Return the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Then add the tomatoes to the pan with the spinach and cook over medium-high heat. Add the white wine and cook until reduced by two-thirds, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining stock and cook for 5 minutes, until the sauce begins to reduce and thicken. Top the pasta with sauce and toss to coat.