Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bring on the carbs! Carbs fill you up and keep you full!

First of all, let me say that I have never agreed with the anti-carb dieting craze. I could NEVER give up my pasta, bread, grains, and potatoes! The whole point of eating is that if you go overboard on ANYTHING, it is bad for you. We need to live by the old adage "moderation in all things."

As for eating pasta in moderation, to me, that is eating at its finest!

These are two of the easiest pasta recipes I have come across. They are also very inexpensive (the first recipe is especially cost-efficient if you grow your own grape tomatoes during the summer). They both feature bacon--which is fun because you don't usually associate bacon as being paired with pasta. But trust me, it works and it is delicious!

Bacon-Tomato Linguine


8 oz. uncooked linguine
2 tsps. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (2.5 oz) pkg. cooked bacon pieces (such as Hormel)
1 1/3 cup grape tomatoes, halved
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup (1 oz) pre-shredded fresh Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add onion; saute 2 minutes. Add bacon; saute 2 minutes. Add tomato, garlic and oregano; saute 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

Add pasta, reserved pasta water, salt and pepper. Stir well and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 3 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese.

4 servings (1 1/4 cup). 7 Weight Watchers points per serving.

My notes: I usually use a whole pound of pasta as opposed to only 8 oz. It just makes more and I make sure to follow the 1 1/4 cup serving size).

Source: Cooking Light, from the Superfast cookbook.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Serves 4 Prep time: 30 minutes Total time: 30 minutes

A carbonara sauce is typically made with bacon, eggs, and cheese. We've added a little half-and-half for a silky texture.


1 pound spaghetti
8 ounces bacon (8 slices), cut 1 inch thick crosswise
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 large eggs
¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
½ cup half-and-half


Set a large pot of water to boil (for pasta). In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.

Salt boiling water generously; add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and half-and-half. Set aside.

Drain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it. Working quickly, add hot pasta to egg mixture. Add bacon; season with salt and pepper, and toss all to combine (heat from pasta will cook eggs). Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese.

Per serving: 397 calories; 7.8 grams fat; 18.9 grams protein; 64.9 grams carbohydrates; 11.1 grams fiber

My Notes: I usually lighten this pasta up a little bit. I often use egg substitute, and fat free half and half or milk (2%, 1%, and Skim all work just fine!). Also, I think that the serving size listed here is massive. Unless you are ONLY having pasta for dinner, you should rarely eat a 1/4 pound of it! (Though it would totally be easy to eat that much at one sitting because it's so yummy) If you follow the serving size for the Bacon-Tomato Linguine above (1 1/4 cups of pasta per serving) and also serve a side salad (and perhaps some bread), you'll find that this dinner will fill you up nicely.

Source: Martha Stewart, Everyday Food (I first saw this recipe on the PBS Everyday Food cooking show). You can find it here.

Garlic Bread Wedges


Pita Bread or Flat Bread
Chef Tom's Garlic Spread or your own mixture of butter, garlic salt/powder, and Italian seasoning
Mozzarella Cheese


The garlic bread wedges pictured here are simply pita bread spread with a butter/garlic mixture and sprinkled with mozzarella cheese. Toast in a 400 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes and voila! Yummy garlic bread for a side dish!

1 comment:

  1. I made this again because 1) I was craving it and 2) I wanted to get a picture of it on our blog.

    After eating it again, I must emphatically state that this is one fantastic pasta! You have to try it!