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The New Healthy Pasta Recipes That Go Way Beyond Spaghetti and Meatballs

The New Noodles

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Welcome to the age when almost anything delicious and healthy is being turned into pasta. (See: Are Those Veggie and Bean Pastas Actually Better for You?)

  • To go veggie heavy, there are beet, fennel, ramps, chile pepper, saffron, and roasted garlic versions to play with.
  • Wheat-alternative pastas like quinoa, farro, and rice, will give you heartiness plus extra nutrients like magnesium and zinc.
  • Chickpea, lentil, and bean varieties are earthy and protein packed. They shine in salads or no-cook sauces, which preserve their texture.

Try it in the 'Beet Fusilli with Charred Spring Onions, Capers, and Feta' recipe below.

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Photo: Christopher Testani

Sauces That Sing

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When you're craving creamy: Puree roasted or steamed root vegetables like butternut squash, carrots, and parsnips with olive oil, salt, pepper, and pasta water. (These vegan comfort food recipes demo the perfect way to use plants as sauce.)

For a new take on pesto, try:

  • kale + pecorino + walnuts
  • broccoli + pistachios + anchovies
  • collard greens + pecans + garlic
  • parsley + almonds + Parmesan.

Or go heat-free: Try no-cook puttanesca, salsa verde, garlicky tahini, or grated raw vegetables and olive oil.

Try it in the 'Pappardelle with Creamy Butternut Squash Sauce and Spiced Almonds' recipe below.

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Photo: Christopher Testani

Build a Better Bowl

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The balance has shifted: Use more veggies—like leafy greens, mushrooms, and squash—and less pasta. Aim for a 2:1 ratio. (Try to incorporate a rainbow of vegetables to get the biggest nutrition punch.)

Try it in the 'Squid-Ink Casarecce with Fennel, Chile, and Whole Lemon' recipe below.

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Photo: Christopher Testani

The Finishing Touch

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As the grand finale, a sprinkle, a toss, or a handful of one of these will add the indulgent quality you crave in a great pasta dish:

  • toasted nuts
  • seeds
  • garlicky breadcrumbs
  • freshly chopped herbs
  • grated lemon zest
  • white wine vinegar
  • balsamic vinegar
  • agrodolce sauce

Try it in the 'Rice Noodles with Shrimp, Tahini, and Citrusy Herb Salad' recipe below.

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Photo: Christopher Testani

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