I’m sure many of you are like me and love pasta! I mean, really, what’s not to love? All that carby goodness of pasta which also just happens to be the perfect vessel to carry some luscious sauce right to your taste buds. *drool* Of course, then there’s the downside which is all the calories and fat that come with it. Well, until now!
Chef Rocco DiSpirito has a couple of books out now in his Now Eat This series. You can find them both on Amazon. I actually have both of them and can’t say enough good things about the recipes. He has figured out ways to strip out a lot of the calories and fat of some of our favorite comfort food dishes while still retaining the flavor. One of my favorites is his No-Cream No-Cry Penne alla Vodka from his original Now Eat This! book. This pasta is so good, you won’t miss all the fat & calories at all!
No-Cream No-Cry Penne alla Vodka
8 ounces whole wheat penne
2 cups low-fat marinara (Rocco includes a recipe for one in the book on pg 206)
Pinch of crushed red pepper
7 ounces 2% Greek yogurt
1 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 Tbsp. grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions, about 9 minutes; drain.
While the pasta is cooking, bring the marinara sauce and crushed red pepper to a simmer in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat.Cook the sauce, stirring it occasionally with a heat- resistant rubber spatula, until it is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the sauté pan from the heat.
Stir about 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce into the yogurt until smooth (this tempers it and prevents the yogurt from curdling). Then whisk the yogurt mixture back into the marinara sauce.
In a large serving bowl, toss the sauce with the drained penne and the basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle the cheese on top, and serve.
Before: 60g fat, 618 calories
After: 4.8g fat, 320 calories
18g protein, 55g carbohydrates, 11mg cholesterol, 6g fiber, 416mg sodium
If you want to see more of Rocco’s recipes from both books, check out the recipe apps on his Facebook page. You can find links for both in the navigation menu on the left side of the page.