Tuesday, 2 August 2016

When In Rome - the love of Italian cuisine

Image courtesy of 

Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have long been a fan of Italian cuisine.  I remember as a young girl my parents used to take my sister and I to a little Italian restaurant called Pizzeria Mamma Mia in Southport.  I can't remember why we stopped going but we did visit regularly at one point.  And I do believe the restaurant is still there although I imagine it has changed a bit since I was there.

There has always been something about the right blend of meat or fish, vegetables and herbs that the Italians have perfected and I have to confess I do love my carbs in the form of pasta and garlic bread.  Fortunately there are many Italian dishes that are quite simple to cook although my culinary prowess is not up to the Italian standards.  However it is good enough for myself and my family and friends.

Being on a healthy eating plan means I have to get creative.   Pizza for example is not particularly healthy and despite trying many different forms, there just isn't a suitable alternative that tastes as good.  So I have to limit these to occasional treats and take the calorie hit.

A lot of Italian food though is ideal for healthy living, the Italians use a lot of vegetables in their cooking, especially tomatoes which are perfect for healthier recipes.  Many diets recommending opting for a tomato based sauce dish over a creamy one if you are watching the calories.  Spaghetti Bolognese is one of my favourite dishes as it combines all the above and making sure you use low fat mince, it's a simple dish to create.

Garlic is an ingredient that features prominently in Italian dishes and fortunately I love garlic, both the taste and the smell.  Bad news for any vampires circling the flat but great news for my Italian tastebuds.  The Italians are also fond of aromatic herbs such as basil and oregano and again these feature heavily in Italian recipes.

The Italians tend to cook using Olive Oil which again makes the dishes healthier than using lard or animal fats and is quite commonly used throughout the Mediterranean.

There are some recipes however, that need to be adapted to make them healthy.  Italians are very fond of creamy or cheesy dishes so the trick is to find an alternative that tastes as good but is less in calories.  I'm going to share with you my recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara, finding a low calorie alternative for the creamy sauce.

Buon appetito!

You will need :-

  • Spaghetti
  • Bacon
  • Peppers
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 80g Primula Light Cheese Spread
Cook the spaghetti as per pack instructions.

Fry the bacon in a pan then add the onions, peppers, garlic and mushrooms.  Fry gently until cooked and then add some water, just to cover the top of the vegetables and add the Primula Light and mix in thoroughly to make a creamy sauce.  Then add the spaghetti to the frying pan and season with salt and black pepper and serve.

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I love this dish I'm glad you posted it hehe, when mum and I make it we add grilled shrimp to it to up the protein intake, and because who doesn't love shrimp right?

    You do realise that now the next time I come visit we are going to have to hunt down that italian joint right?