Meal of the month: A plate of pasta


photo of a plate of whole-wheat pasta served with assorted vegetables;  the dish is surrounded by a container of olive oil, whole garlic, and a small dish of grated cheese

Pasta is a popular choice for a quick and easy vegetarian meal — all you have to do is boil noodles, drain, and add some sauce. There’s just one small problem: most pasta is made from white flour, and this refined carbohydrate isn’t the healthiest option, especially if it’s one of your go-to meals.

With just a little effort, you can ramp up the nutritional quality of a pasta dinner by choosing one of the many alternative noodle options and adding a variety of vegetables (and a drizzle of olive oil) to your pasta dish. With a simple hand-crank tool called a spiralizer, you can make your own noodles from vegetables such as zucchini or yellow squash. (Some stores sell these “zoodles” premade in the produce aisle.) Or try pasta made from whole-wheat flour, buckwheat flour, edamame (soybeans), chickpeas, or red lentils, all of which are higher in fiber and protein than traditional white paste.

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