We’re already big fans of pasta, any and every kind available, made from a variety of grains and cooked in different styles to suit the season, depending on what ingredients we have on hand and what mood we’re in. But when we want something healthy, tasty and good looking, we turn to these dishes by Z Living host, Ann Gentry.

Let’s take a look at what makes these recipes so special.

1. Farfalle Pasta With Sausage & Broccolini: Recipe Here
Pasta comes in all kinds of pretty shapes, but you need to choose the right sauce to accompany every kind. If your pasta is a delicate one like angel-hair vermicelli, then use a skinny sauce to match, such as a runny, mildly seasoned béchamel, or dunk it in a coconut milk-enhanced Asian-style broth. But for this butterfly-shaped pasta, it is better to choose an accompaniment that is chunky, preferably meaty and spicy.
In this recipe, sausage meat removed from the casing nicely does the job. As does the broccolini, which is a vegetable similar to broccoli but with longer, thinner stems and smaller florets that add a crunchy texture to the dish. It also has high amounts of potassium, which helps maintain a healthy nervous system, improves brain function and even promotes muscle growth. With shaved Parmesan cheese and topped with a dollop of ricotta, this is a tasty dish that’s full of healthy goodness.

2. Spinach & Tomato Pasta: Recipe Here
Pairing pasta with healthy ingredients like spinach and tomato makes for a healthy and colorful dish that’s filling thanks to the whole-wheat pasta. Spinach is a powerhouse of nutrients. But unlike most of the veggies that are best eaten raw, you’re better off cooking this leafy green because it actually enhances its health value: a great source of iron, when cooked, it has 0.86mg more iron per 100g serving, than the raw version. Iron plays a major role in the formation of red blood cells necessary to transport oxygen in the body. In addition, heated spinach provides more magnesium, calcium and manganese. While calcium and magnesium give you stronger bones, manganese helps in processing cholesterol. Feta crumbled on top before serving, gives the dish a sharp bite to complement its earthy deliciousness.

3. Whole Grain Pasta With Basil & Sautéed Veggies: Recipe Here
If you enjoy adding meat to your pasta, but are trying to eat healthier, choose protein like turkey or chicken sausage meat, both of which are leaner and lower in calories. Basil is a highly valued plant known for its various medicinal properties such as strong antibacterial action and helping prevent gum disease, plaque build-up and bad breath. Loaded with potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and B5, holy basil also improves low blood pressure levels. Sautéing vegetables is a good way to cook them without losing their nutrients. Go on, try this healthy recipe for dinner tonight.

PS: Head to our Food section for healthy recipes and the latest food trends.
Get useful tips on Healthy Eating here.

Read More:
3 Chef Secrets To Make Your Pasta Healthier & Tastier: Revealed
Healthy Twists To Your Favorite Pasta Recipes

Ann Gentry, host of Naturally Delicious, has spent the past 20 years raising the standard of vegetarian cooking. As a chef, restaurateur, food educator and visionary, she has succeeded in combining macrobiotic food preparation with the richness of her southern upbringing to create a gourmet vegetarian cuisine even meat lovers covet.As the executive chef of Vegetarian Times magazine, Ann creates original vegetarian recipes and contributes articles on healthy eating and living. Ann also writes her own bimonthly column about food and children for the British magazine Junior: The World’s Finest Parenting Magazine.Ann is the creator, founder and operating owner of Real Food Daily, the only restaurant in the Los Angeles area that serves a 100 percent vegetarian menu using foods grown exclusively with organic farming methods. Bon Appetit magazine wrote that “Ann Gentry, the creator of Real Food Daily, has taken two different California trends — vegetarian foods, and the organic seasonal cooking popularized by Alice Waters of Chez Panisse — and come up with a cuisine that is as interesting and delicious as it is healthful.” With two California locations, in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, Real Food Daily has “developed a loyal following.” Its patrons range from the someday to the everyday vegetarian, to celebrities, to trendsetting young eaters with sophisticated palates or the mature diner seeking gourmet, health-supportive cuisine. Ann’s first cookbook, “The Real Food Daily Cookbook,” published by Ten Speed Press, is available for purchase on her website www.realfood.com and at bookstores. As the spokesperson for SOYJOY, an all-natural nutrition bar made with whole soy, Ann has appeared on many radio and television shows as well as various food lifestyle shows promoting a healthy lifestyle. She has also been a guest chef at Canyon Ranch, Pritikin Longevity Center, Robert Mondavi Wine Center, L.A. Times Festival of Books, the Environmental Media Awards, North American Vegetarian Society and Central Market. In the spring of 2008, Ann will be a featured guest chef on a Caribbean cruise ship, in the program “A Taste of Health” on Holistic Holiday at Sea. Ann lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Robert Jacobs, and their two vegetarian children, Halle and Walker.