It seems recently that among health circles Italian food has gotten a bad rep. With the advent of Atkins many former Italian food fans have steered clear of the cuisine because of all the pasta that is used. However, this idea that pasta will make you fat is largely unfounded. A diet of Italian food, especially from the Mediterranean is actually very healthy and will keep you looking and feeling great as long as you know what Italian food to eat and how to prepare it. A great example of the fact that Italian food will not make you fat is in Sophia Loren. She told the world in her book that she grew up on spaghetti and ate it constantly. She says that it is not the pasta that makes you fat; it's what you put on top of it. People who gain weight eating Italian food typically do so not because of the pasta, but because of creamy sauces like Alfredo sauce and because they eat in too large portions. Italian food from the Mediterranean doesn't rely on rich, thick sauces and uses olive oil instead of butter, making it very healthy.
It all starts with the ingredients you keep. For good, healthy Italian food you want to make sure you stock the kitchen with quality pasta, olive oil, garlic, onions, lean meat, fish, and seafood. For seasoning you will want some herbs like basil, oregano, and parsley. You'll want to stay away from a lot of cheese and perhaps only get a little parmesan cheese to top your favorite Italian food dishes. The creamy and cheesy Italian food dishes are the ones you're going to want to stay away from to keep a healthy diet. There are several different light Italian food meals that you can prepare with these simple ingredients. Here is one to start you off, an Italian food classic, pasta with tomato sauce. You can use any type of pasta you want and you might want to try livening it up with variety. Italian food is not just spaghetti noodles. Boil the pasta in water with salt. Make sure not to overcook the pasta. You want it to be firm, yet tender. The most common mistake made in making Italian food is making mushy pasta. For the sauce simply chop up some garlic, an onion, and some tomatoes. Take a tablespoon of your quality olive oil and sauté both the garlic and onions until they are soft. Once that is done add the tomatoes and cook until all the ingredients are blended together well. To top it off add your favorite herbs such as parsley, oregano, or basil. Try different combinations of herbs, there is no definitive herbs for Italian food so experiment and give your sauce your own signature flavor.
Serve this sauce over your hot pasta and if you want put a little sprinkle of parmesan on it. This is a simple Italian food dish that stands on its own and you won't need to eat bread or anything else with it. This is a great example of how healthy Italian food is supposed to be, light and fresh. Feel free to try different variations on this recipe. Italian food is full of a variety of pastas and recipes that can keep you satisfied and healthy as long as you stay away from the heavy sauces and creams.