8 Pasta Recipes for an Italian-Inspired Dinner

Article posted in: Diet & Nutrition
pasta recipes

Pasta recipes don’t have to be heavy. In fact, if you were to dine at an Italian restaurant in Rome, Tuscany or Florence, you could expect to be served fresh pasta with seasonal herbs and vegetables in a light, simple sauce. Italian-Americans have perfected the carb heavy favorites that we’ve likened to perfect comfort foods.

Lighter is certainly healthier and Italy seems like the perfect getaway. Escape to your kitchen and bring that Italian restaurant home with these eight pasta recipes! They are packed with flavor (not carbs) and fit right into your South Beach Diet meal plan. The hardest decision you’ll have to make is which recipe to try out first.

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Here are eight pasta recipes for an Italian-inspired dinner:

1. Garlicky Shrimp “Pasta” >

pasta recipes

Not sure if you’ve ever seen Shirataki noodles at the supermarket? You can typically find them premade in the refrigerated vegetarian section. However, they can also be dried and packaged just like regular noodles in the pasta aisle. The long, white noodles—which contain no digestible carbs and are loaded with fiber—virtually take on whatever flavor you cook. In this case, that’s rich garlic, wine, butter and shrimp. Delish!

2. Shrimp Scampi with Zoodles >

zucchini noodles

Love lemon? While similar to our garlicky shrimp pasta, this recipe incorporates lemon juice instead of wine and cuts out some of the spice. We also called for easier-to-find zucchini noodles and add a few tablespoons of Parmesan cheese for salty depth. If you have a spiralizer, you can easily make your own fresh zoodles right at home.

3. 2-Step Garlic and Herb Zucchini Noodles >

pasta recipes

Got five minutes? You’ve got a homemade meal that is five-star restaurant worthy. Garlic, olive oil, salt, chili flakes and fresh basil unite to make a peppery, robust sauce. Top with Parmesan or Pecorino Romano if you wish.

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4. Cheesy Southwest Spaghetti Squash >

spaghetti squash

Four ingredients—spaghetti squash, cheddar cheese, red pepper and avocado—combine to make this rich, creamy, seemingly sinful (but not!) dish. If you want to up the spice ante, use pepper jack cheese or cayenne pepper. Or, opt for even more flavor by adding fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley or Mexican oregano.

5. Zucchini Lasagna >

zucchini lasagna

When you think of comfort food, lasagna is probably at the top of the list. But where there’s pasta, there are carbs. And where there are layers of pasta, there are way too many carbs. Zucchini is terrific; it’s noodle like, contains virtually no carbs and holds all the cheese in place. (Enjoy every bite of cheese—it’s totally SBD-approved!)

6. 2-Step Creamy Avocado Pesto Zucchini Noodles >

pasta recipes

This seemingly simple recipe has one unusual ingredient: Hemp seeds. With a nutty taste that’s similar to sunflower seeds and pine nuts, hemp seeds are rich in plant-based protein, omega-3’s and all nine essential fatty acids, says Bon Appetit. Use them in this pasta recipe, mix them in hummus, sprinkle them on your salads or yogurt and scramble them with eggs. You can even use them to make a coating for fish, chicken or pork.

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7. Easy Chicken Parm >

pasta recipes

The pounding. The dredging. The searing. Making authentic chicken parm isn’t exactly an easy process. So, we simplified things. Simply coat the chicken (the “breading” here is made from almond flour and a bit of pepper) and then bake it. Cook the noodles for a few minutes and then serve with the sauce of your choice.

8. Chicken Lasagna Cups >

pasta recipes

Because you can never have enough lasagna, we created this recipe in clever cups. Yummy chicken cutlets hold all the lasagna goodies—mozzarella, ricotta, cream cheese and even marinara. Make sure the chicken is no thicker than ¼” to replicate thin noodles.

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