Let the Carb-ing Continue

Career-wise, the last year has been extremely stressful, which has had a negative effect on my health. I gained 20 lbs., my cholesterol and blood pressure has increased and I stopped exercising.

So, rather than let my doctor put me on medication, I decided to lose the weight I’d gained in the last year naturally by cutting out carbs and eating more chicken, fish, salads, fruit and vegetables. It’s not an easy proposition, considering my family background. Pasta, bread, potatoes and rice are my best friends, with pasta as my favorite.

Two months ago, I started walking my neighborhood in the evenings with my neighbor Joan and her dog, Lady. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy and chemotherapy. My neighborhood encompasses 1 1/4 miles of not-so level terrain.

The walking, coupled with cutting out carbs and eating healthier has resulted in a 4 lbs. weight loss in 2 months. My cholesterol is now below 200, my BMI is down and so is my blood pressure. Although I wish I’d lost more weight, the benefit of losing slowly means I will keep it off longer.

This last week however, I fell off the wagon big time! I ate bread everyday, sometimes twice in the day. I’m not talking about a slice of whole-wheat bread; I’m talking about warm Italian bread, sour-dough bread and garlic knots!

One day this week, I went out for lunch with a co-worker and had a delicious pasta dish. It was Capellini Pomodoro – Capellini spaghetti, which is angel-hair pasta, with fresh Roma tomatoes and basil. They served it with warm bread and I used every slice to mop up the tomato sauce!

Although I felt a little guilty about going off the wagon, I realized I was craving carbs for a reason and I shouldn’t beat myself up about it. I should just move on and keep trying. I make this dish at home, and it’s one of my favorite spaghetti-type meals.

So, for all of you carb craver’s out there; I give you my Capellini Pomodoro recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds fresh Roma tomatoes peeled, de-seeded and diced (to peel the skin, you have to blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 5 minutes)
  • 2 cups fresh chopped basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Herbs du Provence
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated cheese – I combine Locatelli Romano, Parmegiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano together
  • 1 lb. angel-hair pasta, cooked
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

ASSEMBLY:

In a 10 qt. pot bring water to a boil
In a saute pan, heat olive oil and add garlic
Stir often, until the garlic is tender.
Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, vinegar and Herbs Du Provence -keep stirring 2 to 3 minutes more.
Remove the tomatoes from the heat.
Once the water starts boiling, add the Capellini, stirring constantly to avoid sticking together – since it’s such a thin pasta, it will cook quickly – (some people add salt to the water, others add oil – it’s up to you).
Once the pasta is done, drain and pour into a large bowl.
Toss the Capellini gently with the cooked tomato mixture
Add the fresh chopped basil, and  the grated cheese.
Serves 4 hungry people and 3 starving people!