Pasta in Recovery


Contrary to popular belief, pasta is low in calories and in fat, even though it is filling. Whole-grain pastas provide fiber, complex carbohydrates, protein, niacin, and phosphorus. There are countless types of pastas and pasta dishes from virtually everywhere in the world. For example, pasta has been a staple of the Oriental diet for centuries, and the egg noodles we use in so many Eastern European dishes actually originated in the Orient.

  • In Japan, soba noodles and udon noodles are immensely popular while in China the universal favorites are mung bean noodles (often sold as bean thread or cellophane noodles).
  • And in the Middle East, couscous—a tiny grain-like pasta made from wheat—is served with many traditional meat or vegetable dishes.
  • But pasta found its niche and reached its peak in Italy, where it can be found in dozens of shapes and forms.

Although many of these popular pastas are made from highly processed flour (most notably durum semolina), there is an increasing variety of whole-grain pastas on the market.

The healthiest choices for those of us in recovery (and those who are not) are those made with whole-grain flours such as whole wheat, buckwheat, rice, soy, and quinoa, and also from vegetables such as spinach, beets, carrots, tomatoes, corn, Jerusalem artichokes, and potatoes. The recovery recipes found in our book “Food For Recovery 4th Edition” rely on such whole-grain pastas to make healthy low-fat dishes that will satisfy the most hearty appetite.


Here is one to celebrate National Pasta Day:


Linguine with Mushrooms and Peas 

Linguine with Mushrooms and Peas are a good source of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and chromium. Peas have almost no fat or sodium. One serving of fresh peas supplies the same amount of protein as an egg. They also provide vitamins C and B-complex, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and potassium.

Serves 4

12—16 ounces linguine or other noodles

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 medium shallots,

minced 1/2 pound mushrooms, sliced

2 cups fresh peas, cooked (see Note), or 2 cups fresh-frozen peas

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon finely minced fresh dill or 1/4 teaspoon dried

1. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain well.
2. In the meantime, warm the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the shallots and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 6 minutes. If the pan gets too dry, add up to 1/4 cup of stock or water. Add the peas and herbs, and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.
3. Top the pasta with the vegetable mixture.

Note: To cook fresh peas, bring a pot of water to a boil, drop in the peas, and cook 5 minutes, or until softened but still a bit crunchy, or prepare by cooking in a vegetable steamer.

Note: Can be made gluten free by choosing a gluten free pasta such as brown rice pasta, quinoa pasta, corn pasta, or even spaghetti squash.

Health and Happiness,

Mary P. Cheney, H.C.

From: Food For Recovery 4th Edition: The Complete Nutritional Companion for Recovering from Alcoholism, Drug Addiction, and Eating Disorders

Copyright © 2018 by Mary P. Cheney, H.C., Joseph D. Beasley, M.D. and Susan Knightly


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Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Blogger, Author, Speaker, Activist, Nana, Mom, Wife, Daughter & Foodie.

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