Anti-Ageing Aubergine Rigatoni

1 aubergine

2 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

100ml red wine vinegar

6 tomatoes, diced

375g rigatoni

125g ricotta, grated

1 handful basil, torn

Slice the aubergine lengthways, then cut into five x 2.5cm strips. Place in a colander, season and drain for 30 minutes. Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic and aubergine and sauté until golden. Pour in the vinegar, add the tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Cook the rigatoni until al dente, drain and add to the pan. Add the ricotta and basil and serve.

Saucy secret: Basil’s antioxidants combat signs of ageing. Knives can oxidise it and turn it brown, while tearing only bruises it, releasing its oils.

SERVES 4. Per 483g serving: 509.56 calories, 10g fat (2g sat), 85g carbs, 40mg sodium, 8g fibre, 17g protein

Tone-Up Crayfish Linguine

2 crayfish, cooked

320g linguine

2 tbsp olive oil

1 garlic clove, crushed

4 spring onions, finely chopped

ó tsp red chilli, finely chopped

25ml dry white wine

1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Cut the crayfish meat into bite-size pieces and cook the pasta until al dente. Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic, onions and chilli and fry for one minute. Stir in the crayfish and heat for one minute. Add the wine and reduce. Drain the linguine and add to the pan. Stir in the parsley and season.

The omega-3s in the crayfish and olive oil make this dish perfect for building lean muscle.

SERVES 4. Per 151g serving: 399.61 calories, 8g fat (1.5g sat), 61g carbs, 50mg sodium, 3g fibre, 19g protein

READ MORE: The 12 Best Foods To Burn Fat And Build Lean Muscle

Heart-Healthy Walnut Linguine

200g walnuts

2 tbsp breadcrumbs

25g butter

100ml crème fraiche

375g linguine

50g Parmesan, grated

1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Cover the walnuts in boiling water to soften. Drain, then pound to a purée with a pestle and mortar. Add the breadcrumbs and butter, tip the mix into a bowl, add crème fraîche and season. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain and place back in the pan with the walnut mix. Finish with Parmesan and parsley.

The vitamin E in walnuts helps to prevent blocked arteries that can lead to heart attacks.

SERVES 4. Per 186g serving: 849.18 calories, 50g fat (14g sat), 79g carbs, 210mg sodium, 6g fibre, 26g protein

Hunger-Busting Pea Tagliatelle

200g fresh peas

200g fresh broad beans

1 garlic clove, crushed

50ml olive oil

600g fresh tagliatelle

1 handful mint, chopped

50g Parmesan, grated

Cook the peas and beans in salted water for two to three minutes. Drain and plunge into iced water. Cook the garlic in oil for one minute, then add the drained peas and beans for a further two minutes. Remove from the heat. Cook the tagliatelle until al dente, drain and add to the pea mix. Toss, season and add chopped mint. Serve with grated Parmesan.

This serving of broad beans and peas has 22 percent of your RDA of fibre, essential if you want to lose weight.

SERVES 4. Per 288g serving: 709.36 calories, 5g fat (2.5g sat), 130g carbs, 230mg sodium, 9g fibre, 23g protein

READ MORE: The Best Way To Lose Weight When You Just Love Food Too Much

Fat-Fighting Courgette Fusilli

375g fusilli

2 courgettes

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp chopped chilli

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1 handful grated pecorino cheese

Cook the pasta until al dente and, while it’s boiling, cut the courgette lengthways into thin strips. Heat two tablespoons oil in a pan and sauté the chilli, garlic and courgette for three minutes, without colouring. Season and set aside. Drain the pasta and toss with the courgette mixture. Finish with the pecorino and the rest of the oil, then serve.

Vitamins A and C in courgettes help metabolise cholesterol. No fresh chilli? Soak dried ones in water to rehydrate.

SERVES 4. Per 224g serving: 549.47 calories, 20g fat (5g sat), 76g carbs, 10mg sodium, 4g fibre, 15g protein

Glow-Enhancing Mussel Linguine

2kg mussels

350g linguine

2 tbsp olive oil

1 garlic clove, sliced

Pinch chilli powder

250g tomatoes, chopped

Zest of 1 lemon

1 tbsp parsley, chopped

1 tbsp basil, torn

Scrub the mussels, remove the beards and sit them in cold water for 10 minutes. Add to a hot, dry, lidded pan and steam for five minutes, until they open. Cool, remove shells, then cook the linguine. Heat one tablespoon oil, add garlic, chilli and chopped tomatoes; cook for five minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with the mussels and sauce. Serve with the rest of the oil, the zest and herbs.

The citric acid in lemon zest helps to remove impurities in skin cells.

SERVES 4. Per 656g serving: 789.19 calories, 16g fat (3g sat), 87g carbs, 1.4g sodium, 4g fibre, 72g protein

READ MORE: Eating Pasta Can Help You Lose Weight, New Study Reports

Bone-Bolstering Pancetta Fusilli

1 cauliflower

375g fusilli

1 tbsp olive oil

100g pancetta, chopped

100g pine nuts

100g raisins

2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Parmesan, to serve

Cook the cauliflower florets in salted water until soft. Remove, but keep the water in the pan and bring it back to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the pancetta. Add the nuts, raisins and cauliflower and season. Drain the pasta and add to the pan. Serve with parsley and grated Parmesan.

Raisins are one of the best sources of boron, a micronutrient needed to strengthen bones.

SERVES 4. Per 319g serving: 729.20 calories, 28g fat (6g sat), 102g carbs, 530mg sodium, 10g fibre, 24g protein

This article was first published in Women's Health SA.

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