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Whole wheat spaghetti in a creamy, homemade pesto sauce. But hey, how does a fitness & healthy food blogger make so much pasta? Pasta is so unhealthy, no? Well, pasta can be healthy too, if you balance it wisely and track the calories according to your intended macros for the day. Like this dish full of green pesto goodness and loads of veggies.
Do You Love Pasta Too?
If you know me or have been around here a while, you know I love pasta! It’s my go-to bowl of comfort food/ quick easy meal idea for all the times I’m running out of time or options. What I don’t run out is ideas on how to make my bowl of pasta balanced and healthier, and also how to eat mindfully and in moderation so that there’s no guilt-tripping ever.
Whole Wheat Pasta for the Win!
How to not trip over with guilt each time you want to eat pasta? Easy – swap refined flour pasta options with wholegrain pasta options (some of these now include veggies as well, so double yayyy!), preferably cook your own pasta at home so you can measure all raw ingredients and track calories, and substitute that fat-laden cheese for nutritional yeast/ seed or nut pesto (like I did here!)/ homemade red sauce so that you still get the creamy comfort food you were yearning for, albeit less calorie-rich and easier on the conscience!
This pasta recipe substitutes the copious amounts of cheese required typically in white sauce pasta dishes you might order while eating out, by using a pumpkin-seed based pesto sauce, and loads of veggies like spinach, mushrooms & onions. I swapped some of the parmesan content in pesto sauce with nutritional yeast too, to bring it closer to a well-balanced meal. Want to reduce the calorie count further? – use zoodles aka zucchini noodles in place of grain-based noodles to make it all-plant meal option. Check my Zoodles with Spinach Pistachio Pesto Sauce and Nutritional Yeast recipe & thank me later!
Looking for more comfort food options which are healthy and balanced too? Check my
Nasi Goreng with Black Rice & Chickpeas for more easy healthy meal ideas!
RECIPE: WHOLE WHEAT SPAGHETTI IN HOMEMADE PESTO SAUCE
Preparation Time: 20 minutes, Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
- 250g Durum whole-wheat spaghetti
- 200g Spinach, washed and roughly chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 5-6 garlic pods, minced
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 200g button mushrooms, sliced into quarters
- 100g Homemade Pesto Sauce
- 1 tsp paprika (optional)
- 1 tsp pepper, fresh-ground (optional)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 liters water, for cooking pasta
First, add ¼ tsp salt to water and bring it to boil in a large pan. Then, add pasta with 2-3 drops of oil to prevent pasta from clinging, and cook till the pasta is al dente (soft yet with a firm bite). Drain the water – however, reserve some for the sauce.
Add oil and minced garlic in a non-stick pan and then increase the heat to medium. Next, add chopped onions, zuchhini and mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are cooked.
Place the chopped spinach leaves on a plate and microwave on medium for 2 minutes to somewhat wilt them. This ensures maximum nutrition retention.
Add spaghetti, wilted spinach and pesto sauce. Mix well so the veggies and sauce coat the spaghetti uniformly.
Sprinkle paprika, pepper and turn off the flame.
I’d love to hear how this recipe turned out for you, if you tried it. Do post a pic on Instagram and tag #fitfoodiediary in the picture!
Whole Wheat Spaghetti in Homemade Pesto Sauce
- Pans and pots
- 250 grams whole-wheat spaghetti
- 200 grams spinach washed, roughly chopped
- 2 onions sliced
- 5-6 garlic pods minced
- 1 zucchini sliced
- 200 grams button mushrooms sliced into quarters
- 100 grams Homemade Pesto Sauce recipe here
- 1 tsp paprika optional
- 1 tsp pepper fresh-ground, optional
- 1 tsp salt (I used pink salt)
- 1.5 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5 liters water for cooking pasta
- Add ¼ tsp salt to water and bring it to boil in a large pan. Add pasta with 2-3 drops of oil to prevent pasta from clinging, and cook till the pasta is al dente (soft yet with a firm bite). Drain the water – reserve some for the sauce.
- Add oil and minced garlic in a non-stick pan and then increase the heat to medium. Add chopped onions, zuchhini and mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are cooked.
- Add spaghetti and pesto sauce. Mix well so the veggies and sauce coat the spaghetti uniformly.
- Sprinkle paprika, pepper and turn off the flame.