For many families, pasta is a weekly menu staple. Quick to prepare, cost effective and tasty, it ticks all the boxes for an easy midweek meal.
Many women are under the impression that pasta needs to be off the menu when trying to lose weight and eat healthily. While tucking into a bowl of rigatoni or linguine every night isn’t recommended, enjoying a weekly serve of pasta is perfectly fine.
It’s the type of pasta that you choose, and what you top it with that makes the difference between something unhealthy and calorific and something healthy, tasty and low in calories and fat.
Creamy sauces, recipes that require more than the usual amount of oil and ingredients like bacon or other processed meats are best kept for a ‘sometimes treat’ when you’re aiming for weight loss.
Recipes like this however, that use fresh, nutritious ingredients, are a great inclusion to your healthy eating plan.
This recipe combines linguine (wholemeal if you can find it), with fresh cherry tomatoes, low fat ricotta, crushed garlic and basil leaves. The addition of 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes adds a touch of heat and flavour, without extra calories.
The beauty of this dish is that it is so easy to throw together (dinner can be on the table in less than 20 minutes!), and uses many ingredients you probably already have lurking around in your fridge.
- 250g linguine, wholemeal if you can find it
- 380g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 100g reduced fat ricotta cheese
- 40ml extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup pitted olives (optional)
- Fill a large saucepan with the recommended amount of water for your chosen linguine
- Add 1/2 tsp salt, cover, and bring water to a rolling boil
- While water is bubbling, add the linguine and cook, according to packet instructions
- Pour the oil into a large frying pan and heat oven medium/high heat
- Add the garlic and chilli flakes
- Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the tomatoes and black pepper
- Allow the mixture to cook for 3-4 minutes. You want the tomatoes to cook but remain quite firm
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and place in a large bowl.
- Pour the tomato mixture into the bowl and toss to combine
- Crumble in the ricotta and add the basil leaves and olives (if using)
- Serve while hot
Makes 2 servings – Cal per serve – 400
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