Calories in pasta: is it healthy?

by Dave

My wife has recently started calorie counting just about everything. She loves Italian food but is worried about the calories in pasta. I would go as far as saying that it's probably her favorite food.

Is there such a thing as a pasta dish that doesn't taste like a shoe box but is healthy and stays within the 500 calories for a meal rule?


Hi Dave and thanks for your query,

Your wife shouldn't worry too much, as pasta itself is a good source of energy-giving carbohydrates and not on its own overly calorific.

What tends to ramp up the calories real quick is what ingredients you serve it with and/or use in the sauce.

For example, at the calorific end, my wife Laura's fool-proof meat lasagna recipe (with its mozzarella and parmesan cheese) clocks in at a whopping 750 calories per portion. Not one to munch every day then!

However many less cheesy vegetarian and meat pasta dishes clock in at way under 500 calories. I suggest your wife try these 3 for starters...

* Pasta Fagioli (great for cold winter nights!)

* Ham n' Pea Pasta

* Traditional Italian Spaghetti Bolognese (a true protein-packed meat feast)

And if your wife wants to carefully calculate the exact calories of each, she should try checking out my calories in lasagna page and also great calorie-calculating website I've found:

Finally, note that Italians don't always eat pasta as a main evening meal. Much of the time it's either lunch or a smaller starter course, followed by meat/fish and veg.



PS: I’ve just added a FREE Calories in Lasagna downloadable guide to this page, which you might find useful.

And since you love lasagna, you find also want to check out my Pastastic cookbook: it has an entire section of easy-to-print lasagna recipes inside and comes supplied with my exclusive Lasagna 101 guide. Ciao!

Comments for Calories in pasta: is it healthy?

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Nov 29, 2009
Pasta is an healthy choice
by: The voyager

Pasta is definitely an healthy food but we, Italians, do not use greasy and creamy sauces on top of it.

In addition some varieties of whole grain pasta can provide up to 25% of daily fiber requirements in every one cup portion.

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