{recipe} Power Pasta

I am a pasta lover and a carb-a-holic. And more than anything, I favor a heavy, creamy sauce on my noodles. But if I’m honest, eating a big plate of pasta makes me feel, well, tired. And I really can’t figure out how to fit a nap in every day after lunch. What’s more, I’m pretty sure it’s not the healthiest thing to eat a giant plate of what is essentially refined flour covered in heavy cream and butter. So what can I do? How can I eat pasta and feel good, both physically and mentally? The answer is my latest culinary invention. I call it Power Pasta.

First, let’s talk about that creamy sauce. I have been making a concerted effort to eat more healthy fats and proteins (like those found in nuts, olive oil, avocados, and so forth.) Buoyed by my recent experience with making a creamy, cashew-based salad dressing, I began experimenting with pasta sauces. I have found that using roasted nuts is a great beginning for a rich and creamy pasta sauce. I like to use mixed nuts, because each type of nut has different nutrients to offer. Adding antioxidant-rich garlic and parsley leaves for flavor, fresh lemon juice for acidity, olive oil for more of those good fats and creaminess, and some Greek yogurt and parmesan for lean protein and calcium round out the sauce. It’s as easy as grinding it up in a blender. All it needs then is a little seasoning.

Now, let’s talk about the pasta itself. I have been trying out all types of alternative pastas and there are some impressive options out there. (There is a great article on The Kitchn about the various health aspects of different alternative pastas.) My number one favorite is the pasta made from quinoa and corn. It tastes the most like actual, normal noodles but is made entirely of quinoa flour and corn flour, so it makes you feel fuller for longer because it has more protein and fiber. An even more protein-rich option is kamut and quinoa pasta. But if you want to go for a fully protein-based pasta and stay completely away from grains, there are a couple of new options out there that are worth trying. For example, Explore Asian makes noodles entirely from different beans. And Tolerant Foods makes 100% black bean pasta and 100% red lentil pasta. So you’re eating pasta but you’re actually just eating 100% beans or lentils. This is amazing news.

So yeah. You can eat pasta and feel wide-awake, full of energy, and with the satisfaction of knowing you had a purposeful, healthy meal. This is one habit I think I can get into.

RECIPE: Power Pasta
This amount of sauce makes enough for about 3-4 servings of pasta. I make a batch then store it in the fridge. When you make a serving of pasta, save a bit of the pasta water (about 1/4 cup) and mix it in with the sauce and the cooked pasta to make it creamy.

You can also add some chopped vegetables, like broccoli, bell peppers, or greens to make it even more powerful.


  • 1 serving pasta of your choice
  • 1/2 cup roasted mixed nuts (can be salted or unsalted)
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  •  2 Tblsp olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tblsp plain Greek yogurt (can be non fat, low fat, or full fat)
  • salt to taste
  • chili flakes to taste


  • Make pasta according to package directions. Save about 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a blender until smooth.
  • Mix cooked pasta, reserved pasta water, and some of the sauce to coat the noodles. Serve immediately

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2 Responses

  1. arin says:

    genius Karen. stealing this. off to get yogurt.

  2. Kate says:

    Hi Karen! Superb blog post you have here. Everyone in my family loved this pasta dish to bits. I added even more veggies like broccoli and leeks.