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italian food



Make Bobby Flay’s Perfect Penne Marinara and Classic Garlic Bread

Hearty penne marinara is a staple in my home. About once a week, my husband I start craving this classic Italian dish and get to cooking the best way we know how. But, I can guarantee you it’s nowhere close to ‘classic’ Italian style, since the sauce most often comes from a jar and the noodles come from a box and usually end up overcooked.

But thanks to chefs like Bobby Flay who take the seemingly complicated meals and break them down into totally doable dishes, we’re able to recreate regional favorites right in our own home.

Flay – longtime chef, restaurateur, and Food Network star – recently stopped by The Today Show to dish out his tips on what to do – and what not to do – wen it comes to classic penne marinara.

With his guidance, we can avoid those common cooking mistakes and finally master the process that yields a perfect tomato sauce and the quintessential al dente noodle. Flay even throws in his tips for garlic bread, too.
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Joe Bastianich’s Heart-Healthy Diet Includes Pasta, Wine, Gelato, and Ironmans

So you’re an Italian who loves good food, even better wine, and you have your name behind some of the finest restaurants in the country. Sounds like the good life, right? Then, you visit the doctor and learn that you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, and you’re going to have to make some changes. For many, this would be an end to the road of a life of feel-good, taste-good indulgence. However, it might have just been the beginning for Joe Bastianich.

“I’m enthusiastic to share how healthy living transformed my own life,” Joe told us in an interview. His diagnosis of these early indicators for heart disease forced him to make some changes in his lifestyle, and the result is inspiring and attainable for anyone. He credits diet, exercise and medication with helping him to “no longer have any medical conditions.”

Joe has previously taken Lipitor, a popular cholesterol-lowering drug that he also represents, and follows a heart-healthy diet and a daily fitness regimen which he credits with helping him to change the course of his health. “Lipitor, regular exercise, and a new way of thinking about food and eating,” point this proud Italian in a better direction.

He says he fell in love with running, something that is “very much a part of my life.” Last year he completed the world championship ironman competition in Kona, Hawaii, and next month you’ll see him running the LA Marathon. He’s looking at a half-ironman competition in Italy this summer, too. For him, “running, cycling, and swimming is my personal time, my meditation time.” More than his fitness and general health, his training contributes to his “mental health and overall productivity.” He takes time every day to eat right and allow himself to train.
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How to Cook Healthy Italian Food at Home

When most people think of Italian food they think of heaping piles of pizza, pasta and chicken Parmigiana drenched in tomato sauce and greasy cheese. While it’s true that this is a picture of the food served at many Italian restaurants in America, authentic Italian cuisine is entirely different. Even though Italy is known for its spaghetti Bolognese and eggplant Parmigiana, there are 20 regions in Italy, each with its own unique cuisine. When you’re dining out at an Italian restaurant, you can start your meal with a fresh salad, keep your portions small and opt for red sauces over heavy cream-based options. When you’re cooking at home, it’s important to dismiss the traditional notion of Italian food to keep your meal delicious and satisfying without taking a break from your healthy diet.
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Chef Devin Shares Her Favorite Recipes from Biggest Loser’s Flavors of the World Cookbook

The culinary preferences of Americans are as diverse as our population. Unfortunately, the way most of us enjoy our Mexican, Chinese and even Italian food is very Americanized – fried, greasy and cheesy. When we start thinking about all the things we have to “give up” to lose weight, our favorite internationally inspired dishes are the first to go. However, the new Biggest Loser Flavors of the World cookbook will put all of your quesadillas, potato pancakes, and even tiramisu right back in your diet.

Chef Devin Alexander
is the recipe author for the new cookbook, as she has been for all of the Biggest Loser cookbooks (last year she released the Biggest Loser Desserts cookbook). Devin told us “We really dug deep to find ingredients that were really healthy.” She boasts about the book an all-natural cookbook. So, not only are the recipes all under 400 calories, they also use wholesome ingredients. She’s “all about decadence” and “figured out ways not to sacrifice flavor.” Biggest Loser Flavors of the World is a first-of-its-kind cookbook: it’s so all-natural Devin couldn’t even use evaporated cane juice or fructose and the recipes are lower in fat, calories, saturated-fat, cholesterol, etc. Best of all, it’s still really decadent.

Listen now to our interview with Devin. Her enthusiasm for the book is completely contagious. You’ll hear how she and her team worked to put together the recipes, the stringent parameters Biggest Loser had her working within, and her list of favorite recipes from the book.



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How to Dine Out: Italian Food

italian foodNavigating the menu at an Italian restaurant can pose many challenges and if you are the type to shy away from carbs then it can become that much harder. I am a big supporter of well-balanced meals, which entails a mixture of protein, carbohydrates and fat. These types of meal combinations can be found in many areas on the menu at an Italian restaurant, but it’s easy to get tripped up with all cheesy goodness that is woven throughout as well.

From pizza to parmesan and even baked ziti there are some pitfalls that if avoided will help keep your dining experience a yummy, but healthy one, too.
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