I love when people say, “The science is settled.” No matter what they’re talking about, they’re probably going to be proven wrong sometime soon.
Let’s take food, for example. Think back through the last few generations, even just your lifetime, of the arguments over the health value of eggs: They’re healthy! No, they’re not! Yep, just kidding, they’re totally healthy, pay no attention to that idiot scientist from the previous study. Whoa, never mind, eggs are absolutely not good for you, put them down! Hey, why aren’t you eating more eggs? They’re really good for you!
One day science is sure which diet is good for you, the next, that diet is going to kill you, try this one instead! For a little while now, science has been sure that carbs are going to kill you. They break down into sugar in your body, and sugar is the work of the Devil himself, so you’ve gotta stay away from that stuff. Pasta is a carb, so boo, hiss, no pasta for you!
But now a new study is here to save us pasta lovers from ridicule. In a study out this week in BMJ Open, a group of Canadian researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital “identified 30 randomized control trials involving almost 2,500 people who ate pasta instead of other carbohydrates as part of a healthy low-glycemic index diet.”
Dr. John Sievenpiper, the paper’s lead author, said, “The study found that pasta didn’t contribute to weight gain or increase in body fat. In fact analysis actually showed a small weight loss. In weighing the evidence, we can now say with some confidence that pasta does not have an adverse effect on body weight outcomes when it is consumed as part of a healthy dietary pattern.”
So there you go my fellow pasta lovers! As long as it’s part of a “healthy dietary pattern,” go ahead and indulge your pasta cravings from now on. You know, just like your growing kid can eat Lucky Charms every morning as long as it’s part of a “balanced diet.” Says so right on the commercial.
Anyway, now that you’re free to eat pasta without having to go to confession every time, here’s a perfect spring pasta to make this weekend. This spring pea ravioli with prosciutto and pea shoots is one of those weekend dishes that is well worth the work. It’s a project, I won’t lie, but grab a bottle of wine, stick the kids in front of some stupid animated animal movie, and make some tasty pasta with your spouse.
By the time the kids are done with their movie, you’ll have fresh, homemade pasta that everyone at the table will eat every freaking bite of, and they will absolutely go back for more. With proscuitto, ricotta, lemon zest, mint, and (fresh if you can get them) peas, it’s a dish that screams spring, and now it also says, “Hey, I’m part of a healthy diet too!”
Of course, the people of the Mediterranean have known for a long time now that their wine- and pasta-centered diet is healthy. In fact, the life expectancy of Italy is the sixth best in the world, at 82.7, with the United States way behind at number 31. Then again, we have breakfast tacos, Frito Chili Pie, and deep-fried Oreos. So there.