If you’ve been overindulging during your self-isolation, it’s a good idea to balance it out with some healthy, high fiber, high protein meals. Pasta is perfect for this situation as it keeps well, is highly versatile, and has a low GI index when compared to other carbohydrates—keeping you fuller for longer. These healthy pasta recipes contain an ideal balance of vitamins, protein, and slow-release carbohydrates so you can ensure you don’t fall into the trap of overindulging while you spend more time at home.
Kale Pesto With Whole Wheat Pasta
Kale is a great source of antioxidants and fiber, but rather than putting it in a smoothie and holding your nose while you chug it down, why not make something that’s both tasty and healthy? This recipe is so simple that you’ll want to make it again and again.
Ingredients: 1 bunch of fresh kale (ribs and stems removed), salt, 12 oz. whole wheat pasta, 1/3 cup raw pine nuts or walnuts, ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 oz. parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp butter, ground black pepper.
- Put the kale leaves in a large pot of boiling water with a pinch of salt for about 30 seconds. Once wilted, transfer the leaves to a colander (keep the water boiling while you do so). Once the leaves have cooled slightly, wring out any excess water.
- In the pan of boiling water, boil the pasta with a little salt until it is al dente (test by trying a piece of the pasta—not by throwing it against the wall!).
- Blend the nuts, oil, garlic, and 1/3 cup water in a blender until smooth. Add the kale and parmesan and then puree until smooth.
- Transfer the pesto into a large bowl, then add the cooked pasta on top with the butter and a little of the cooking water. Toss them together, then serve with a drizzle of olive oil, some freshly ground black pepper, and a few shavings of parmesan.
Linguine With Anchovies and Tuna
Although we should always be eating well to keep our immune systems strong, it may be on your mind now more than usual. This delicious pasta dish contains oily fish and plenty of protein—both of which have been proven to help keep your immune system strong.
Ingredients: 5 tbsp. olive oil, 1 2 oz. tin of anchovies (chopped), 6 cloves of garlic (5 chopped, 1 whole), ½ tsp. chopped chili, ¼ tsp. smoked paprika, 1 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, 1 bunch kale (ribs and stems removed), salt, 1 large slice whole wheat bread torn into 1-inch pieces, ¼ cup chopped parsley, 12 oz. linguine pasta, 1 jar of tuna (drained).
- In a large frying pan or skillet, heat 4 tbsp. of olive oil. Cook the anchovies and sliced garlic together. Once they are soft, add the chopped chili and smoked paprika and cook while stirring for about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and break them up in the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer while occasionally stirring for about 30 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
- While the sauce is thickening, blanch the kale in a large pot with salted water and then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Let this cool and then drain and squeeze. Chop it roughly. Keep the kale water to one side.
- In a food processor, pulse the bread until you have breadcrumbs. Toss them with the remaining olive oil in a skillet until golden and crispy, seasoning with salt and pepper. Grate the whole garlic clove over the breadcrumbs and stir, then transfer to a bowl and mix with the parsley.
- In the pot with the remaining kale water, bring it back to the boil. Add the linguine according to the instructions on the packaging. Use tongs to transfer the linguine to the pot with the sauce, and then add the kale and tuna. Toss until combined well, and then top with breadcrumbs when serving.
Pasta Salad With Vegetables and Tomatoes
Just because we can’t go outside, doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the arrival of warmer weather! This classic summer salad is a great way to get a huge dose of vitamins when it’s hot outside.
Ingredients: For the tomatoes — 9 cloves garlic (crushed), 3 sprigs of thyme, 3 2-inch strips of orange zest, 1 3-inch piece of ginger (peeled and then cut into thin sticks), 4 cups of cherry tomatoes, 6 tbsp. fresh orange juice, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tbsp. light brown sugar, ¼ tsp. salt, black pepper.
For the peas and onions — 8 oz. spring onions, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 8 oz. sugar snap peas, salt.
To assemble — 12 oz. pasta of your choice, salt, 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 2 cups basil leaves, 2 cups mint, freshly ground pepper, olive oil.
- Preheat the oven to 325F and toss the 9 cloves garlic, thyme, orange zest, ginger, tomatoes, orange juice, ¼ cup olive oil, brown sugar, salt, and pepper in a baking dish. Roast for about an hour, turning the tomatoes every 20 minutes.
- Cut onions into 2-inch sized pieces, and then heat a medium-size skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp. oil and then the sugar snap peas. Cook, tossing until charred and then transfer to a bowl.
- Heat the remaining tbsp. oil in the same skillet and add the chopped spring onions, tossing once until charred. Transfer to the same bowl as the sugar snap peas and season with salt.
- Cook the pasta according to the packaging instructions. Drain, and then transfer to a large bowl. Once the pasta has cooled, add the tomato mixture, sugar snap peas, spring onions, lemon juice, most of the basil and mint, and toss to combine. Finish by seasoning with salt and pepper and then top with the remaining basil and mint and a drizzle of olive oil.
If you’re looking for cooking inspiration while you’re stuck in the house, there’s plenty of it here! At NetCost Market, we have a great selection of pasta from all over the world, so you can buy your favorite along with all the fresh produce you need for these amazing dishes.