In my last post, My Top Low Carb Pasta Picks I promised you some recipes using some lower carb pastas that are currently available on the market.
Well here they are. Here are three of my favourite pasta recipes to suit any occasion; be it a quick mid-week meal, a family BBQ, or your next dinner party.
These recipes are also great for people with diabetes, or anyone just keen to try a lighter pasta option.
Pulse Pasta & Chicken Salad
This recipe is great for lunch or dinner and is particularly handy when you need to cater for your next big get together or family BBQ.
Here’s how to make it.
- 1 packet San Remo Penne Pulse Pasta
- Spray olive oil
- 500 g chicken tenderloins
- 1 eggplant
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- 1 tub baby bocconcini
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp French mustard
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Salt, cracked pepper (to taste)
Remove chicken from the packet, remove any fat and slice into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
Meanwhile, wash the eggplant under cold water, slice off the ends, then slice the rest into round pieces approximately half a centimetre thick. Lightly spray both sides of the eggplant with oil and fry in a pan, on medium heat, until brown. Lay on a plate and allow to cool slightly.
While the pan is hot, lightly spray the base with oil, add the chicken and fry for approximately 8 minutes, until cooked, turning so both sides are cooked. Once cooked, turn off the heat and set aside.
Fill a large pot with tap water about 3/4 full, add 1 tsp salt and bring to the boil. Add pulse pasta to the boiling water, turn down heat to medium and cook for approximately 6-8 minutes until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, wash the cherry tomatoes and slice in half. Place in a small bowl and set aside. Slice the baby bocconcini in half, place in a small bowl and set aside. Slice the cooked eggplant into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
To make the dressing, squeeze the juice from the lemon and pour into a glass jar. Add the olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Put on the lid and shake until an emulsification forms and all ingredients are well combined. Set aside.
Once the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat, strain the pasta and add it to a large serving dish.
Pour over the dressing and mix well to coat each piece of pasta. Add add the tomatoes, bocconcini, eggplant and chicken.
Wash the basil, remove the leaves and slice into large pieces before sprinkling over the salad. I do this at the end as Basil can go brown if left too long.
Sprinkle over the pine nuts and mix well until all ingredients are well combined.
Note: This recipe serves approximately eight people. Each serve of pasta in this recipe contains approximately 14 g of carbohydrate (or one portion).
I created this recipe after I had left-over salmon in the fridge from the night before.
I never know what to do with it, because on its own, it never tastes as good the next day as the nice crispy skin turns all mushy.
So if you have some left-over salmon in your fridge, this is a great recipe for you, or if not, keep reading as I take you through step-by-step.
- 1 bone-less salmon tail (or you can use a pre-cooked one if you have left-overs)
- Low-carb pasta, enough for four people (I like to use either 100 g of dry Explore Cuisine Edamame & Mung Bean Fettuccine, or 170 g of dry Herman Brot Lower Carb Pasta)
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 1 bunch fresh parsley
- Chilli flakes (to taste)
Crack the eggs into a small bowl, add the salt and cracked pepper and beat with a fork until the egg yolk and whites combine. Set aside.
Wash the parsley under cold running water, drain, and chop into small pieces. Set aside.
Wash the asparagus under cold water, remove the ends and steam either on the stove or in the microwave for approximately 4 minutes or until just tender.
Avoid over-cooking the asparagus. It should be a bright green; dark green is overdone. Once cooked, turn off the heat and run the asparagus under cold water to cool. Slice into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
If you’re using fresh salmon, warm a fry pan on the stove on medium heat, add some spray olive oil to coat the base of the pan, place the salmon skin side down in the pan and cook for approximately 6-7 minutes. Turn the fish over using a spatula and cook for another minute.
The salmon should be slightly pink inside; you don’t want to over-cook it.
Once cooked, turn off the heat and place the salmon on a plate and allow to cool slightly before removing and discarding the skin and slicing the salmon into bite-sized pieces.
If you’re using pre-cooked salmon, heat slightly in the microwave for approximately 40 seconds.
Add the salmon, asparagus, parsley and chilli (to taste), back into the pan and set aside.
To cook the pasta, add water to a pot with a dash of salt, and bring to the boil. Add the pasta and cook on medium heat for approximately 6 minutes.
Once cooked, turn off the heat and drain the water – don’t drain it under cold water as it needs to remain hot.
Turn the pan containing all the ingredients, to a very low heat (you don’t have to do this but I like to ensure my egg is thoroughly cooked).
Add the hot pasta to the pan, pour over the beaten eggs and mix well. I like to use two pasta ladles for this to ensure everything is coated well.
Mix well for approximately 1 minute until the eggs begin to turn into a creamy coating on the pasta.
Serve with a sprinkling of grated parmesan.
Note: This recipe serves approximately three people. If using the Explore Cuisine Fettuccine, each serve is approximately 11.9 g of carbs. If using the Herman Brot pasta, each serve is approximately 5.6 g of carbs.
If you like to give yourself slightly more insulin for fat and protein feel free. For more info on this, visit my previous post Impact of Fat and Protein on BGL.
Baba’s Spaghetti Bolognese
This recipe is a nod to my Baba (Ukrainian for Grandmother).
After school, I remember walking to Baba’s house with my sister. She would often cook us her spaghetti bolognese for afternoon tea. We knew when she was making it, as we could smell the yummy aromas before we even stepped inside.
This is a really quick and easy mid-week dish as it only has a few ingredients, which are often in my cupboard already, so no need to dash out to the grocery store!
I like to use garlic oil in my recipe, although you can use fresh garlic if you prefer. The garlic oil cuts down on the cooking time as you don’t need to peel, crush and fry the garlic.
I also don’t use onion as my hubby has Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and can’t tolerate garlic or onion. So this recipe is perfect for anyone on a FODMAP diet.
At first I was reluctant to forego garlic, but garlic oil is really great and gives any dish a great garlic flavour, it’s just like using the real thing.
My Baba used to use a mix of pork and veal mince in her recipe, but I haven’t been able to find this in the supermarket for years, so I just use pork mince.
Minced pork gives this dish a really classic flavour, very distinct from a beef Bolognese.
Pork is also a great meat to use as it can have up to seven times less fat than beef. Minced pork of course has fat added, so I buy the lean or extra lean version.
So here’s my version of Baba’s Spaghetti Bolognese – I hope it becomes a family favourite in your house!
- 500 g lean pork mince
- 2 heaped tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbs dried oregano
- 1 tin diced tomatoes (400 g NET)
- 1/8 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 jar pasata (tomato puree)
- Salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
- Parmesan (to serve)
- 1 packet Herman Brot Lower Carb Pasta
Heat the garlic oil in a pot on medium heat. Add the pork mince and fry until slightly brown – be sure to mix regularly to ensure the mince breaks apart evenly.
Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Simmer on medium heat for approximately 15-20 minutes until cooked, stirring regularly.
In the meantime, add water to a pasta pot and a dash of salt, and bring it to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for approximately 6 minutes on medium heat.
Once cooked, drain the pasta and divide into four bowls.
Add the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with parmesan. Enjoy!
Note: This recipe serves approximately four people. If using the Herman Brot Lower Carb Pasta, each serve of pasta has approximately 8.5 g of carbohydrate. The total carbohydrate per serve (taking into account the tomatoes and tomato sauce) is approximately 19 g.
I like to serve this with some steamed vegetables or a green salad to boost the nutritional value.