Monday, May 15, 2017

THE NAKED TRUTH ABOUT PASTA

By Mary Kennedy                              
 
You're probably wondering why I called this post "The Naked Truth about Pasta."  Okay true confession time, it was a bit of a tease. I could have called it "The Skinny Truth about Pasta," but it didn't have enough of a ring to it.
 
A lot of people are watching their weight these days and pasta has been given a bad rap. I'd like to share a super-easy, vegetarian recipe for whole wheat pasta with cherry tomatoes, spinach, lemon zest and garlic. Oh yes, and a dash of red pepper flakes.     
         
 
...it's very quick and delish. And if you watch your portion size, it will fit into any diet.                                                      
 
Penne pasta with garlic, tomatoes and spinach.
 
Ingredients:
 
12 ounces whole grain pasta or fortified pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cloves of garlic (or just use minced garlic that comes in a jar)
2 cups cherry tomatoes
6 ounces chopped, frozen spinach, drain well and squeeze all the moisture out. (I always have fresh spinach in the fridge so I use that instead.)
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped thyme
2 tablespoons lemon zest
Salt and pepper
 
Directions:
 
Cook pasta according to directions. (Note if you don't like whole wheat pasta, you can use the "plus" versions of pasta that are fortified and have extra protein. Be sure to check the labels. You want one that is about 10 grams of protein per serving) 
 
You are going to reserve about 1/4 of the pasta water, right before you drain the pasta.
 
While pasta is cooking, heat the tomatoes, garlic and red pepper flakes in the olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the spinach and cook for about 3 minutes. Be sure to keep stirring.                                                 
 
Add about half of the "starchy water" you reserved from the cooking water for the pasta. Let simmer for a minute. Now add thyme, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
                                                          
 
Add pasta and enjoy!
                                                           
 
Makes six servings. Only 220 calories each, and 10 grams of protein. great for lunch with a salad.
 
Hope you try this, Mary Kennedy