For quick and easy pasta recipes and losing weight, start with flavours you love!

Quick and easy pasta recipes are one of the best ways of having fast food as part of a balanced healthy diet, and losing weight...I've been using them for years!

If you think about how long you can wait at a drive-thru to get food, or stand at the pizza shop waiting to pick up your pizza, or even wait for it to be delivered, there are hundreds of ways of eating quicker.

With all the advertising about the convenience of fast food and the fact that the kids love it, is it any wonder we've started to believe that the only way to get a quick meal is to buy it? With it's high calories and excess energy? It has it's place, but is it more convenient than cooking...well that depends on what you're making.

If you were offered fast food that was good for you, filling and healthy and that would help you lose and maintain weight loss, would you take it? Well here's an option that will do exactly that.

Easy pasta 4 hour sauce!

Now, many pasta recipes have great slow cooked sauces. And they taste great. But you don't have to cook 4 hour sauces for great pasta. Quick and easy is the motto for most meals here, and the slow cooked rich sauces are for those great occasions when I feel like cooking all day, and time allows...which isn't often, but they're great when I do.

Quick tips for easy pasta recipes.

Start with the flavours and foods that you love.

Experiment with combinations, and taste test. Does it need more chilli, more pepper, more of this, a dash of that? Ask the others in your house what they think, get them to taste too. Develop combinations of foods that suit your family. Try new combinations, and then write them down...your building a family recipe book, and your taking action for a healthier and lighter life.

Here's a couple of my quick and easy pasta recipes.

For all of these, use any pasta you like. Fresh cooks quicker, but it is also more expensive and doesn't keep as long. I always keep a couple of packets of dried pasta in the cupboard. And while it isn't made any different, each member of the family has a preference for different shapes, so we swap it around a bit.

These toppings are so easy, the kids or my lovely other half, can make them as well! Which is great. Even if I do it all myself, by the time the pasta's cooked...the toppings ready to go on, and we're eating.

Spinach and fetta base for easy pasta recipes.

Spinach and fetta go well together. I've given you quantities that I use with 500 gms of dry pasta, but adjust the quantities depending on what you like.

  • 200grams baby spinach leaves
  • 200 grams of crumbled greek fetta
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • half a thinly sliced spanish onion
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ground black pepper

Mix all of these together. Once the pasta is cooked, drain, but don't rinse. Put the pasta back into the hot pot you cooked it in, pour in the topping. Mix together till well combined...and serve.

There's good olive oil in this recipe...olive oil has no cholesterol and is easier for the body to burn as energy than animal's good for you. And if you work out the amount per serve, it's not even close to a serve of pizza.

Spinach and fetta are flavours that work well together, as do capers and lemon. You can also add some fresh chilli to this if you like chilli, some kalamata olives, swap the spinach for mixed lettuce leaves if you prefer them over spinach...what combinations work for your family? And see, it's so easy...even your partner can do it.

Tomato, onion and basil base toppings for easy pasta recipes.

Tomato, onion and basil are fantastic together. Again start with these three flavours and then add to it. The kids like this combination with tinned tuna (in springwater, and drained before use).

  • 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes (yellow grape tomatoes are great too,) cut into quarters
  • half a bunch of basil leaves ripped up.
  • 4 finely chopped spring onions (tops and bottoms)
  • 400 gram tin of tuna in springwater (drained and flaked)
  • handful of kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • a little salt and ground black pepper

Mix together and let sit while the pasta cooks, giving an occasional mix. Once the pasta is cooked, drain, but don't rinse. Put the pasta back into the hot pot you cooked it in, pour in the topping. Mix together till well combined...and serve.

Again play around with the flavours. Some roasted capsicum cut up is yummy in this recipe too. Try roasting the tomatoes, some capsicum and onion and use this with the basil. leave out what you don't like and put in what you do.

Before you know it, you'll have 6 or 7 quick and easy pasta recipes that make losing weight and fast food go hand in hand!

I make quite large quantities of these pastas, because we have the leftovers for lunch the next day, and the kids also like them as breakfast. They're a great way to start the day off with some energy, as part of a balanced healthy diet before school.

To get more mileage out of these...these toppings also work well as side dishes with steak or fish.

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