OK, it's true that there's an ongoing "discussion" in our home about sauce and gravy.

My wife Jodi insists that when tomatoes and pasta are involved, it's sauce...yes, even after you add meat. Then it's "meat sauce." Still not gravy.

Of course I respectfully disagree as I grew up with "Sunday Spaghetti Gravy" every week. Okay, that said, some pasta does require sauce and not gravy.

In my world, if there is no tomato component, it's sauce. Or if it's on pizza, even with tomatoes, it's still sauce. Easy right?

Anyway, back to the sauce. Since reading a great book called Wheat Belly by Doctor William Davis. I try to avoid any modern grain products. The takeaway from the book was simple, modern grain has been hybridized to increase resilience and production.

Seems like a good thing right?

The problem? The amount of fiber has been dramatically reduced overtime so it's easy to see how you can pack on the excess weight.

I choose either high protein chickpea pasta with plenty of fiber, or I opt for "ancient grain" pasta. Einkorn wheat has not been hybridized so it's got the level of fiber that allows you to eat it without bloating or worrying about eating too many carbs.

Regular pasta will have high carbohydrates, 42 grams in Barilla Penne, 7 grams of protein and only 3 grams of fiber.

Compared to a typical Einkorn pasta, with 35 grams of carbs (about 17% less); 4 grams of fiber (33% more!) and 9 grams of protein (28% more).

I will tell you that the Einkorn will taste different to you and some people just don't tolerate it, my wife doesn't like it so we compromise by buying Barilla protein pasta, which has almost twice the protein and two thirds more fiber than regular pasta.

Bottom line?

You do not have to give up pasta to lose weight and stay healthy! For my latest recipe I tried chickpea pasta. It's not my favorite but with the right sauce, it hits the spot. It's also the healthiest if you're looking for more than twice the fiber, higher protein and fewer carbs.

Okay, on to the sauce.

I start with olive oil on a low heat in a nonstick pan. Then I add a few pats of butter.

As it's melting together I add about a half of a small onion finely chopped.

As the onions cook and become translucent, add three to four chopped anchovies, trust me, and about a tablespoon of Nduja sausage and after the Nduja and anchovies melt into the sauce, throw in a few cloves of chopped garlic.

Give the garlic about 60 seconds to cook and then turn up the heat and deglaze the pan with a cup of white wine. Make sure it's a drinkable wine as you will be sharing with the sauce! Add in some chopped Italian parsley and season with salt, pepper and cayenne.

Leave it on a low simmer and then cook the pasta. The box says 7-9 minutes...no way!! 5-6 minutes tops or it can get gummy real quick.

Add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauce pan and mix in. I top with slices/chunks of salty Pecorino Romano cheese  and more parsley.


The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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