Heart healthy pasta recipes

By: Health Local Staff Feb 26, 2014
  Article
Heart healthy pasta recipes

Looking for heart healthy pastas you and your family will love?

We have found new and exciting ways to prepare your pasta without contributing to heart issues and excess calories.

Pasta typically gets a bad rap for being unhealthy. Starchy noodles garnished with butter and cream based sauces are not the best way to lose weight or keep your heart healthy. We have found ways to substitute some of the traditional sauces and heavy creams with healthier alternatives.

Below are two heart healthy favorites the entire family will love.

Stuffed Pasta Shells – The Healthy Way

350 calories per serving
8 g of total fat

Ingredients

  • 12 ounce package of jumbo pasta shells – whole grain if preferred
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 7 ounces of fresh broccoli, washed and chopped
  • 1 c fresh carrots, shred
  • 1 c chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 bunch of fresh spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
  • 1 c low fat cottage cheese
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Sprinkling of salt and pepper, as desired
  • 1 cup marinara or tomato sauce
  • 1/3 c mozzarella, grated

Preparation
Heat the oven to 400 degrees and cook the pasta shells in a large pot of water and sprinkling of salt. Drain the pasta and let cool. Be sure to follow the cooking directions on the back of the pasta box.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute the vegetables and garlic until tender. Add ½ c water, cover and let simmer for about two minutes. The veggies will be tender.

Remove the lid and cook until the water evaporates. Remove the veggie mixture from the heat and stir in the fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, cottage cheese, and salt. Sprinkle with pepper to taste. Spread the tomato sauce on a glass baking dish (13x9) and spoon one tablespoon of mixture into each shell. Line the baking dish with the stuffed shells. Sprinkle the shells with mozzarella cheese and cover the glass dish with foil. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese mixture is hot.

Heart Healthy Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

465 calories per serving
6 g total fat

Ingredients

  • ½ c bulgur
  • 1 pound of ground turkey (extra lean)
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp minced onions, dried
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning mix
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 box of whole grain spaghetti noodles
  • 1 large jar or can of marinara sauce (25 ounces)

Preparation
Add the bulgur to a bowl and combine with boiling water. Let the contents soak for about 15 minutes. Drain and return to the bowl.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl add the turkey, cheese, garlic, onion, egg white, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Mix. Stir and add the mixture to the bulgur and blend well with a fork.

Form the mixture into about 18-20 meatballs. Bake the meatballs on a cookie sheet for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

While the meatballs are cooking, prepare the pasta by boiling. Follow the directions on the back of the box. Add the marinara sauce to a large saucepan and heat thoroughly. Add the meatballs when removed from the oven. Serve while hot and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at www.healthlocal.ca.