Enjoy Superb Light Pasta

Easy, light, low-fat, subtle flavor . . . yum!
Easy, light, low-fat, subtle flavor . . . yum!

Tired of the same old marinara sauce from a jar? Looking for something light and subtly flavored that won’t overpower broiled tilapia? Need a filling side dish that works well alongside steamed vegetables or baked chicken? Then give this recipe for light, low-fat and wholesomely delicious pasta a try. You can also make this dish whole grain and low sodium if you prefer. It’s quick and easy and is a great companion dish to just about anything you’ll want to serve!

Things you’ll need:

• a medium-to-large saucepan

• approximately 28 oz. of light, fat-free chicken broth (I recommend College Inn brand, low-sodium)

• water

• up to 1 lb. of angel-hair pasta or thin spaghetti (my favorite is Barilla brand whole grain)

• extra virgin cold pressed olive oil

• your preference of seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley flakes, olive oil, butter or margarine, grated parmesan cheese

• (optional) 1 loaf of ciabatta bread, fresh or frozen

Begin by placing the light, fat-free, (low sodium) chicken broth in the saucepan, with no more than about 10 to 20 oz. of clean water. Using the lesser amount of water will result in a slightly drier pasta; using the greater amount will result in moister pasta and will leave a bit of savory pasta broth that can be served over or with the pasta. Do not dilute the broth any further. Place over a medium-high heat and bring to a vigorous boil.

Just prior to adding the pasta to the boiling broth-water mix, add several tablespoons of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil. Then add the angel-hair pasta or thin spaghetti, breaking the pasta in half if your saucepan requires, or if you prefer your pasta a little easier to handle when serving. Boil the pasta for no more than 7 minutes, less if indicated on the product packaging. When done, you’ll want the pasta ‘al dente’, or providing a little bit of biting resistance to your teeth; you do not want it to be completely soft or mushy.

Once the pasta has reached the desired consistency, remove the saucepan from the heat but DO NOT drain the pasta. Immediately add your preference of seasonings. I usually add a very small amount of salt, some pepper, a generous amount of garlic powder, a dusting of parsley flakes, and several more tablespoons of olive oil. Mix the pasta, remaining broth and seasonings vigorously, and serve while hot.

If you prefer your pasta quite dry, it is best to serve it with a pasta ‘fork’ and drain any remaining broth while serving. If you prefer your pasta moist and with broth, you can serve it with a large serving spoon or ladle. Top off your pasta to taste with a bit of grated parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of olive oil.

Children may prefer their pasta minus some of the seasonings — such as pepper, garlic powder, parsley flakes, olive oil, and parmesan cheese — and possibly with a bit of butter or margarine melted onto the hot pasta upon serving. Simply split out the children’s portion of pasta into a bowl prior to adding and mixing the seasonings, and then season the adult and children portions separately.

But no matter what your particular preference of seasonings, this recipe will give you a light and delicious pasta alternative that will complement many of your entrées for years to come! Mangia!

As an added side dish to this pasta, try a loaf of Italian ciabatta (pronounced cha-batta) bread (often available fresh or in your local grocery’s freezer section; simply thaw, then warm in an oven, or prepare per package instructions). Simply cut or tear the oven-warmed ciabatta bread into thick slices or rough chunks. Pour several tablespoons of olive oil on a saucer, add grated parmesan cheese to the olive oil, and dip the ciabatta bread in the mixture. Wow! — you’ll never butter your bread again!

(And, while you dine, enjoy the denizens of rickzworld.)

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