By Gian Franco 2021-01-06

These Pasta Recipes Make It Easy and Enjoyable to Cut Calories in 2021

You can make a plate or two using your leftover spaghetti from New Year’s Eve.

Everyone was relieved to close the door on 2020 as the lockdowns and uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic saddled us with mental stress and physical fatigue. Suddenly, people had to stay indoors and learn how to whip up copycat recipe of their fast-food favorites. We surely enjoyed learning how to cook for ourselves as much as we loved doing it to curate our own #foodgram. With less activity indoors and more time to binge on Netflix shows however it was much easier to put on weight and feel bad about it.

More gyms will reopen for the new year, and we find ourselves eager to shed few inches off our waist. Restaurants and fast food too have also resumed serving walk-in customers as they are allowed to reopen dining rooms while following health protocols. But wait—just because you missed dining out does not mean you can order your comfort food on a whim. You want to break a fresh start, right? You can still use those MasterChef skills you acquired to prepare yourself a healthy yet delightful plate to fill you up without the guilt.

But as we gradually get back to work and adjust to the new normal, we may realize we have less time now as we try to make up for the lost time last year. Just like most problems have good solutions, you can achieve your target waistline with less time in the kitchen without going to the nearest grocery to pick the best ingredients. If you have leftover pasta from New Year’s Eve (hopefully not from last year’s Christmas—yikes!) and too tired to plan your meal after the holiday preparations, you may consider re-using the noodles to create these two easy and low-calorie pasta recipes.

WATCH: How to Make Garlic Pasta with Spanish Sardines Recipe


You can easily produce a plate of this heavenly dish in less than 30 minutes just using a bottle of Spanish-style sardines and linguine stashed in your pantry. It’s so simple that you can substitute spaghetti or fettucine for the noodles and focus on the flavors that go into the sauce. You just need to have the following:

  • 1 bottle or 6-ounce Spanish-style sardines
  • 600 grams fettucine, cooked
  • ½ cup chopped green olives
  • 2 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomato
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Chili flakes, to serve
  • Garlic bits, to serve

STEP 1: Follow the package instructions for cooking fettucine. Place the cooked pasta in a mixing bowl afterwards.

STEP 2: Pour the sardine oil (commonly olive or corn oil) into a sauté pan over medium heat. Add Spanish sardines, chopped sun-dried tomato, chopped olives, crushed red pepper (optional), and parsley.

STEP 3: Put basil and add some water. In the same sauté pan, add Spanish sardines, sun-dried tomato, crushed red pepper, and parsley.

STEP 4: Throw in pasta and mix well with other ingredients. Toss and cook for 3 minutes. Season salt and pepper to taste.

STEP 5: Transfer to a serving plate and sprinkle with garlic bits and chili flakes, if desired.


Lobster & Shrimp Linguine | Menu | Bahama Breeze Restaurant

For this recipe, you don’t have to go through the trouble of getting your hands on real crustaceans when you can go for bags of frozen shrimp and lobster balls. You can make your own 15-minute seafood pasta with sweet and spicy tang of chili and tomato even with spaghetti or fettuccine as substitute. You will need:

  • Olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Large pinch chili flakes
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 150 grams linguine
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Lobster and shrimp balls


STEP 1: After heating 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan, add and fry the shallots for 2 minutes. Add and mix together ginger, garlic, and chili flakes. Fry the ingredients for another 2 minutes.

STEP 2: Fry the shrimp and lobster balls in a wok over medium heat until golden brown.

STEP 3: Throw in chopped tomatoes into the pan and let it simmer with all the other ingredients for 20 minutes until desirable consistency is achieved.

STEP 4: Cook the linguine according to package instructions.

STEP 5: Add the parsley and fried seafood balls into the tomato base. Stir and season well.  

STEP 6: Toss the cooked linguine into the tomato base and serve.



A similar recipe of Spanish Sardines Pasta appears in and Panlasang Pinoy. The Spicy Shrimp and Lobster Linguine recipe is inspired by a piece from Olive. Ingredients are available in My Tindahan.



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