Calories in pasta: is it healthy?
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: acaloriecounter.com
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!