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Easy, Healthy Pasta Recipes

Get your fill of good-for-you carbs with these healthy pasta dishes. Make sure to cook with whole wheat pasta to get more protein and fiber.

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Prev 11 of 11 Next
Prev 1 of 11 Next

Farfalle with Watercress, Cherry Tomatoes, and Feta

Ingredients
8 ounces farfalle pasta
1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cups watercress leaves (from 2 small bunches)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Make It
Cook pasta according to package directions. Place the cheese in a large bowl; top with the watercress. Before draining the pasta, take 1/4 cup of the cooking water from the pot and pour it over the watercress. (Watercress will wilt slightly and cheese will get soft.) Place the tomatoes in a colander. Drain the pasta over the tomatoes for a super-quick blanch. Toss with the watercress and cheese; sprinkle with pepper and serve.

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Prev 2 of 11 Next

Italian Sausage and Veggie Pasta

Ingredients
2 ounces uncooked whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1 precooked Italian-style chicken sausage, sliced into rounds
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Make It
Cook pasta according to package directions. Heat spaghetti sauce, sausage, garlic, and vegetables for about 12 minutes, until veggies are tender. Top pasta with sauce mixture and sprinkle with cheese.

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Prev 3 of 11 Next

Whole Wheat Fettuccine with Shrimp and Peas

Ingredients
Whole wheat pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup small shrimp
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
3 tablespoons frozen peas, rinsed and drained
Grated Parmesan cheese

Make It
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan. Add shrimp, tomatoes, garlic, and rosemary; saute 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add peas; cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes more. Toss shrimp mixture with cooked drained pasta. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

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Prev 4 of 11 Next

Garlic Asparagus and Pasta with Lemon Cream

Ingredients
8 ounces dried mafalda or rotini pasta
2 cups asparagus spears cut into 2-inch pieces
8 baby sunburst squash and/or pattypan squash, halved (4 ounces)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon margarine or butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon peel

Make It
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to saucepan. Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook asparagus, squash, and garlic in hot margarine for 2 to 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to pasta. Combine whipping cream and lemon peel in skillet. Bring to boiling. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1/3 cup. To serve, pour cream mixture over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat.

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Prev 5 of 11 Next

Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta

Ingredients
1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 dry white wine
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips
1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
3 cups hot cooked campanelle or penne pasta
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Make It
Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade, and chop them. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add chicken and garlic. Cook and stir until chicken is brown. Add the reserved artichoke marinade, broth, wine, and dried oregano. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Stir in chopped artichokes, roasted peppers, and olives. To serve, spoon chicken mixture over pasta. If desired, sprinkle with feta cheese.

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Prev 6 of 11 Next

Thai Peanut Noodle Bowl

Ingredients
2 ounces uncooked whole wheat pasta
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 piece (1 inch) ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame
2 cups frozen stir-fry vegetables
1 tablespoon chopped peanuts
2 scallions, sliced

Make It
Cook pasta according to directions. In a skillet, saute peanut butter, lime juice, garlic, and ginger for 1 minute. Add edamame and vegetables and cook for 12 minutes until vegetables are tender; pour over pasta. Top with peanuts and scallions

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Prev 7 of 11 Next

Wheat Penne with Roasted Vegetables and Shrimp

Ingredients
1 small cauliflower, chopped
2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch pieces
2 small Delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into thin half-moons
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves crushed
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 pound whole wheat penne pasta
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Coarse sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Make It
Set a large, rimmed baking pan on the middle shelf of the oven; preheat to 500 degrees F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Put cauliflower, onions, carrots, and squash in the pot; cover until water returns to a boil. Uncover; cook 2 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a colander. Reserve cooking water for later.

In a bowl, toss vegetables, shrimp, tomatoes, wine, oil, garlic, cumin, red pepper, and thyme. Transfer to the pan in the oven; roast 15 minutes, stirring midway, until veggies are tender and shrimp is cooked. Discard thyme. Return the pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and transfer to a wide serving bowl. Toss pasta with veggie mixture; season with salt and pepper. Add cheese if desired.

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Prev 8 of 11 Next

Lemon Basil Pasta with Summer Squash

Ingredients
2 ounces (2/3 cup) dry whole wheat penne
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped yellow squash
1/2 cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil

Make It
Boil pasta and drain. Toss with remaining ingredients.

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Prev 9 of 11 Next

Mushroom and Asparagus Fettuccine

Ingredients
8 ounces dried fettuccine or linguine
8 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
3 cups sliced fresh shiitake or crimini mushrooms
1 medium leek, thinly sliced, or 1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup mushroom broth or vegetable broth
1/4 cup half-and-half or light cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup chopped plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh basil
1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh oregano
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Make It
Cook fettuccine or linguine according to package directions, adding asparagus the last 1 to 2 minutes of cooking; drain. Return pasta mixture to saucepan; cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook mushrooms, leek, and garlic in hot oil over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated. Stir in broth, half-and-half, salt, and black pepper. Bring to boiling. Boil gently, uncovered, for 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Stir in tomatoes, basil, and oregano; heat through.

Spoon the mushroom mixture over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat. Divide among 4 bowls or dinner plates. Sprinkle with pine nuts and, if desired, Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

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Prev 10 of 11 Next

Wide Noodles with Chicken and Lima Beans

Ingredients
8 ounces dried pappardelle or mafalda pasta, fettuccine, or wide egg noodles
1 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans
1 14-1/2-ounce can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
6 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 small onion, cut into wedges
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup whipping cream
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
Snipped fresh chives (optional)

Make It
Cook pasta according to package directions, adding lima beans to the water with pasta. Drain pasta and beans; return to saucepan.

Meanwhile, place undrained tomatoes in a food processor bowl or blender container. Cover and process or blend until pureed; set aside.

Cut chicken into bite-size pieces. For sauce, in a large skillet cook chicken, onion, and pepper in hot oil over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Reduce heat; stir in tomatoes and chicken broth. Simmer about 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in cream; simmer for 2 to 3 minutes more or until sauce is desired consistency. Pour sauce over pasta mixture; toss gently to coat. Transfer pasta mixture to a warm serving dish. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chives.

Originally published on FitnessMagazine.com, September 2009.

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