Everyone should find the 'carb" exceptions that work for them. For instance I know potatoes and yams sit on, and in, my body like lead weight, but for me I don't have any ill effects from pasta. One of the reasons pasta works for me is because I make my pasta sauces with lots & lots of veggies, more veggies than pasta! In fact I only use 1/2 box, (8oz. instead of 16oz.) because every 2oz. serving has 200 cal. So 1/2 box makes 4 servings. Pasta is one of the fastest, easiest, and most versitile dishes to add most any veggie to, and Spaghetti noodles is my "go to" pasta shape and one that I always have in my pantry
Here are my two big tips for making pasta that I learned while staying at a cooking school in Tuscania, Italy.
Add 2 Tbl. salt to the pasta water (I use coarse sea salt). I kid you not! It seems like alot of salt because we've learned in this country to not use so much salt, but I swear to you it makes a huge difference in the flavor of the pasta. And if the Italians do it, then so do I!
Get in the habit of reserving some pasta water to thin the sauce as needed. Just before I drain the pasta I "fish out" about 1 cup, in a metal or glass (pyrex) measure, of the pasta water. Thinning your sauces with water instead of oil, cream, cheese, etc. will save many calories and give you the proper consistency.
And lastly.....pasta sauces don't have to be a red tomato sauce or a creamy cheese sauce. In fact in Italy, they are rarely either of these two. Instead, pasta sauces in Italian cooking are veggie based with seasonal, and regional produce, simple olive oil, and maybe a dust of hard cheese (like parmigiano reggiano).
Pasta with Yellow Chard
Chard, I used 2 small bunches of yellow, including the stems
olive oil (1-2 tbl.)
anchovies, 2-4 minced, optional
garlic, 2 cloves minced, optional
parmesean, 2 tbl., optional
Salt....not optional! (for pasta water)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to the time listed on the box. I sliced the yellow chard stems in thin strips, roughly the same size as the pasta and added them to the pasta pot during the last 3-4 minutes cooking time.
While pasta is cooking heat olive oil in saute pan and add anchovies, if using, cook for 1 min. Add chard leaves and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes, adding crushed garlic in the last minute.
Just before pasta is 'al dente', reserve some pasta water! Drain pasta and chard stems and add to the wilted chard leaves in saute pan and toss. Add 1-2 tbl. olive oil if needed and/or pasta water, and a dusting of parmesan. (see above photo of the finished pasta)