It has taken nearly a year of blogging recipes before I have finally posted a pasta dish. That is pretty good going considering the blog revolves around the Italian diet! The main reason for avoiding it is not because it is unhealthy, as many may have presumed, but simply because I wanted to show that there is much more to Italian food than just pasta. Why did I choose to post this dish then? A few of reasons:

  1. I love pasta with meatballs.
  2. I love simple pasta dishes.
  3. If you pack out your pasta with protein it will be far more satisfying, keep you fuller for longer and allow you to eat less pasta because the meatballs help fill it out.
  4. I made this dish last week and it was awesome!

After all that hype, I better just post it! Here it is, but do read on to find out why it is alright to keep pasta in your diet and tips on how to do it in a healthy way!

Rigatoni con Polpette


Pasta is one of the first dishes everyone cuts out when they are trying to lose weight and for very good reason. It is a very high carb meal and can have a big impact on your calorie input that day. However, that does not mean it needs to be removed completely. Pasta is a real family favourite, it can be packed full of nutrients depending on how you make it and it is quick and easy after a long day, so it would be a real shame to eliminate it altogether.

The biggest factors to consider when making pasta are what you put with it, what else you have eaten that day and, most importantly, portion size. Let’s start by looking at what you put with your pasta. It is important to pack out your pasta with vegetables and protein to make it as filling and wholesome as possible. Traditionally, Italians have a small portion of plain pasta and then follow it up with a second course of meat and vegetables, giving them a very well balanced meal. We can do exactly the same thing but just put it all in the same bowl!

As we all know pasta is a carb heavy meal, but to balance this out just cut down on carbs the rest of the day. If I know I am going to have pasta for dinner, I eat less carbs at breakfast and lunch, so when looking at my day as a whole it is not carb heavy at all.

Finally, portion size is a massive issue. In this recipe I have allowed 75g dried pasta as an average portion. Depending on your sex and size you can play about with this a little. If you measure that out now, it will not look like a lot, but that is why it is so important to bulk out the pasta with something like meatballs. That way you are still looking at a hearty plate of food. We very much eat with our eyes as much as our mouth so it is important that our portion looks big, even if there is less pasta there. I would also recommend using a tubed pasta like rigatoni or penne as 75g of rigatoni will always look like more than 75g of spaghetti on the plate.

Most importantly, just remember that to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle nothing should ever be off limits, especially not pasta! It is just too good!!

Buon appetito,

Fit Bird

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