Italian food is synonymous with being absolutely delicious. However, it’s also very easy to make and can be extremely healthy. There’s a reason that people live very long in Italy, and you often see elderly people still walking around and working in their gardens well into their 80s/90s. The cuisine is extremely nutritious, and a lot of this revolves around pasta. So, today’s post will show you three quick and healthy pasta dishes to add to your weekly menu:
Pasta Alla Norma
This is a popular pasta dish in Sicily that uses aubergine as the main feature of the meal. You can find loads of different recipes for this online, but this one is my favorite. It’s such an easy meal to make as you use the cherry tomatoes with a tomato stock to make the source. Adding the balsamic vinegar gives it an extra sharpness, and the taste of the roasted aubergines works so well. There’s a lot of veg in this, and you can top with pine nuts for some added protein and good fats as well. The whole process of preparing and cooking should only take around 30 minutes – it is well worth trying.
Gnocchi with goats cheese
Gnocchi is little potato dumplings that are very popular in Italy. You can make many dishes with them, but this is one of the healthiest. There isn’t really a proper recipe for this – it’s something you can almost make up as you go along. I use cherry tomatoes and tomato paste to create a red sauce, cooking them down and then adding some garlic and white wine vinegar. Cook your gnocchi as per the packet, then add it to the tomato mixture. Put a splash of water from the gnocchi in as well, just to create more of a saucy consistency. Then, you can serve it up with some rocket on the side and goat’s cheese crumbled on top. You could also use caprino cheese – and to be honest, mozzarella works well too.
Okay, courgetti isn’t really a traditional Italian food staple, but it does make spaghetti even more nutritious. For those that don’t know, you can use a spiralizer to turn a courgette into strands of courgetti. Boil them in water for a few minutes and you have a great alternative to spaghetti. Mix this with some pesto and tomatoes, and you have a very tasty meal that’s super healthy. If you want to make it even healthier, you can make your own pesto. But, this will mean the mean takes a bit longer. If you find a good shop-bought pesto, you can whip this whole meal up in around 10-15 minutes easily.
See, Italian food isn’t just packed full of flavors, it can be very healthy too! Give these dishes a try and you’ll have some extra tasty treats to add to your weekly menu. Looking for something to have a dessert? Check out this post on these three Italian desserts for some added inspiration.