How to eat pasta and stay slim

Ever since that low-carb revolution, many people are upping their protein quota and dropping their carbs. While it's true as a nation we consume too many high calorie, white flour carbohydrates, but it doesn't mean passing on pasta altogether.

Here are three great pasta dishes that will help burn belly fat.

Rather than butter and cream, the fats in these dishes come from nuts, seeds, olives and oil. All of which are heart healthy and have been shown to help in overall weight loss, but more importantly target the fat in the belly.

The dishes have a nice balance of protein, carbohydrates, and monosaturated fat to satisfy your taste buds as well as provide the nutrients your body needs.

Try a salmon and whole wheat penne pasta dish containing tomatoes, garlic, capers, chicken broth, and herbs. At 385 calories, a serving of this dish offers 21 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, and 20 fat grams.

There's also a buckwheat soba noodle dish, which includes tofu, carrots, scallions, Asian spices, rice wine vinegar, and peanut butter. At less than 400 calories, this tasty dish offers 16 protein grams, 36 grams of carbohydrate, five grams of fiber, and 19 grams of fat.

If capallini or spaghetti's a favorite, mix in cut-up chicken breasts, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, fresh basil, red pepper flakes, and pine nuts. At 387 calories, this dish offers 22 grams of protein, 36 grams of carbohydrate, six grams of fiber, and 19 grams of fat.

Keep in mind, a serving of pasta itself is a cup and a half, so adding all the extras helps make the dish more filling.

If you're still concerned about counting carbs, remember the more protein and fiber you have in your dish, the lower the carbohydrate count.

You want to have lean proteins and lots of vegetables, along with a smart pasta choice. For instance Barilla Plus adds egg whites and chick peas to the mix. There's also the smart choice of whole grain pastas.


Here are the recipes:

(serves 4)

  • 4 oz. Whole wheat penne
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ pound wild salmon, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon drained capers
Prepare pasta as directed. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat to cook tomatoes garlic, salmon, broth, basil and oregano.

Toss and snip more herbs if desired



  • ½ cup natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 oz. light firm tofu, drained, cubed, patted dry
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • optional - 2 teaspoons chili paste with garlic
Whisk peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, oil, paste and seeds together.

Cook noodles as directed. Sauté tofu in pan on medium heat. Add carrots and scallions last.



  • 4 oz. whole wheat Capellini or spaghetti
  • 3 oz. dry sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 oz. cooked and cubed chicken breast
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • optional - ½ cup toasted pine nuts
Prepare pasta as directed, heat all other ingredients in a skillet on medium until chicken is cooked.

These recipes found in the March issue of Prevention Magazine.


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