I get giddy when my culinary leanings line up with my nutrition ones. Case in point: I learned the other day that cooking pasta “al dente,” as the Italians do, not only maximizes taste, but is better for you. Indeed, pasta cooked so it has a little bite to it has a lower glycemic index than pasta cooked soft. That means that it takes longer to digest, causing less of a spike in blood sugar.
You can benefit even more by eating a moderate, more Italian-sized portion, rather than the mountain of noodles often served in American eateries. Figure a two to three ounce portion per person, and combine it with loads of vegetables. Saute your seasonal favorites in a little olive oil, garlic or onions, and finish with a squeeze of lemon juice or fresh herbs. Serve it with a chunk of Parmesan cheese and a hand grater. Make a little extra and you have a lunchbox main course for the next day