Wednesday, 28 March 2012

400 calorie pasta.

I was really stumped when thinking what to make for dinner tonight, as it was a rare occasion where I wasn't in the mood for something heavy or fattening (difficult to believe, I know), but rather something light and refreshing, and low in calories. Seeing as its the middle of the week and people generally don't have time for hours of slow roasting, I also wanted something quick and simple to whip up, requiring few ingredients and absolute minimal effort, and thus my healthy pasta was born (plus its veggie)!

This is a wonderfully light and refreshing pasta dish, something that fills you up (thanks carbs!) but isn't too heavy - perfect for the hot weather. The garlic in the pasta gives it a burst of flavour whilst eliminating fattening things like cheese or cream, and the fresh, ripe cherry tomatoes burst in your mouth, filling it with the flavours of summer. 

Of course if you wanted to be a bit more naughty the obvious thing to do would be to add cheese - for this recipe I would suggest cubes of crumbly, creamy feta - but I think there is enough flavour from the basil and garlic to compensate for these calorific extras - so the choice is up to you! You can also add some toasted pine nuts if you have any, in order to give the dish a bit more crunch. 

Quick and healthy pasta
100g pasta of your choice (I used spaghetti, but this also works well with pastas like rigatoni or fusili)
Handful cherry tomatoes
Handful basil leaves
1tbsp garlic powder
Olive oil

1. Turn on the kettle and get a pan ready for the pasta. 
2. Place the pasta in the water once its boiling, add salt and a little olive oil, and then simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the pasta is tender and cooked. 
3. Whilst the pasta is cooking, halve the cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with salt, and roughly chop the basil leaves. 
4. Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add a glug of olive oil, the garlic powder (I use this as it is quick and convenient, but you could just as easily add some minced garlic cloves), and some salt and pepper, and mix until the pasta is evenly coated. Throw in the cherry tomatoes and stir, keeping some behind. 
5. Plate up the pasta and sprinkle over some more cherry tomatoes and basil leaves to serve, and there you have it - the quickest, easiest pasta dish in the world!

Ridiculously simple, healthy and filling - what more could you want?

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