Cheesy, creamy pasta is the ultimate indulgence, but it’s usually loaded with refined carbs and artery-damaging saturated fat. To the rescue: our good-for-you versions of home-cooked classics, which knock the nutritional socks off traditional recipes. Follow our makeovers to cook a pasta meal you’ll feel great about.
1. Be smart about cheese
Use reduced-fat cheeses in place of full-fat versions. Also, opt for lighter varieties whenever possible: for example, switching from low-fat ricotta to low-fat cottage cheese saves 377 kJ (90 cal) and 8.5 g of fat per half-cup while still maintaining creaminess and satisfaction.
RECIPE: STUFFED SHELLS WITH ARTICHOKES
2. Make vegetables the star
Yes, tomato sauce counts (one half-cup equals one serving of vegetables). But why stop there? Try adding at least two other nutrient-rich vegies to every dish. You’ll bolster the flavour and the bulk—and enjoy a bigger serving size for very few extra kilojoules.
RECIPE: FETTUCCINI ALFREDO WITH BROCCOLI
3. Go for wholemeal pasta
Switching from regular pasta to 100-per-cent-wholemeal pasta can more than double the hunger-busting fibre per serving. A few popular pasta brands have 100-per-cent-wholemeal versions, so keep an eye out for your favourites at the supermarket.
RECIPE: BAKED PENNE WITH ZUCCHINI
4. Choose at least 90%-lean meat
That includes poultry—make sure it’s ground from strictly breast meat. Adding more vegies (see Rule 2) can also help you cut back on meat in some dishes.