5 Things You Didn’t Know About Pasta

October is National Pasta Month and it’s a food you can feel good about.  Hy-Vee Dietitian, Jen Haugen, will share how pasta can be a part of a healthy diet plus share a recipe for weeknight dinners.

5 Things You Didn’t Know:

  • Pasta alone won’t make you overweight.
  • A healthy portion of pasta is the size of a baseball.
  • Pasta cooked al dente keeps you fuller longer.
  • Pasta is a simple way to increase your whole grains.
  • Pasta is the cornerstone of one of the world’s healthiest diets.

Celebrate Pasta Month with Rotolo Rolled Lasagna:

  • Under 500 calories, this pasta dish is a variation on traditional lasagna.

Rotolo Rolled Lasagna

Serves 4.  Adapted from:

All you need:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, pressed, or 4 teaspoons minced

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 sprig fresh basil 

8 ounces (1 large bunch) raw spinach

2 tablespoons water

1 (15 ounce) tub part-skim ricotta

1 egg

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Salt and pepper, to taste

8 sheets whole grain lasagna noodles, cooked

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  To make the sauce, add oil to large saucepan over medium heat.  Add onions and cook 2 minutes.  Add garlic and tomato paste; cook and stir for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes and sprig of basil.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove basil sprig.
  2. While sauce is simmering, wilt spinach in sauté pan over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons water.  This will only take a few seconds.  When spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out excess water and finely chop.  
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together ricotta, egg and ¼ cup chopped basil.  Season with a dash of salt and pepper.
  4. To assemble the rotolo, place one lasagna noodle on work surface.  Spread 1/3 cup spinach mixture along the noodle.  Roll up and repeat with remaining noodles.  
  5. Ladle ½ cup of tomato sauce along bottom of oven-proof dish.  Place noodles in saucepan, seam-side-down, and cover with remaining tomato sauce.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Place in oven and bake 30 minutes.

Nutrition information per serving: 497 calories, 13 grams fat (5 grams saturated), 413 mg sodium, 61 mg carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 30 grams protein.

Jen Haugen represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community.  Jen is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the leading nutrition professional organization in the country.