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One of the most surprising things to new Slimming World members is that pasta is a Free Food   which means you can eat as much as you like to satisfy your appetite, with no weighing, measuring or counting. This flies in the face of the common misconception that carbs are a big no-go if you want to lose weight (as our research shows), and means that pasta, noodles, rice and potatoes are all on the menu!

If you love pasta, but don’t feel confident creating your favourite Italian meals at home or you want a quick option when time’s shortyou’ll be pleased to know that we’ve added four new pasta dishes to the Slimming World food range (available at Iceland). These can be kept in the freezer and cooked from frozen in just 12 minutes, making them ideal for our busy key workers and those heading back to the workplace. They also make a great lunch for those of us still at home who’d like an alternative to yet another sandwich or salad.

When we were developing our new dishes, we decided to stick to the classics we know our members love: there’s a comforting chicken carbonara, a flavour-packed king prawn linguine, a rich beef tagliatelle and a veg-filled penne arrabbiata. While traditional Italian food can be rich in oil, butter and cream, we wanted to bring you a taste of Italy that’s completely Free, just like the rest of our food range.

These new meals may be a quick and easy frozen option, but we haven’t cut any corners in their creation. We’re using top-quality Bronze Italian die pasta in all four dishes, which gives an authentic taste and fantastic texture. In my opinion, there’s nothing worse than sloppy pasta, and we worked really hard with our suppliers to achieve just the right level of ‘al dente’ (slightly firm to bite, in the Italian way!) to make these meals as authentic as possible.

The proof of the pasta is in the eating, of course! My personal favourite is the penne arrabbiata, which is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. I love the chunky bits of peppers and veg, and it has just the right amount of spicy chilli. Don’t just take my word for it, though  these pasta dishes are proving hugely popular with our members. We even had one Italian member who rated our beef tagliatelle as one of the most authentic beef ragu dishes she’s ever tasted outside of Italy. Ammazza! 

And that’s not the only rave review we’ve had. We’ve been thrilled to read so many great reviews from our members. Here are just a few of their comments, followed by the chicken carbonara recipe for those who’d like to make it at home:

Chicken carbonara

@chrissiepops_sw loves the new Slimming World food range chicken carbonara

“Cannot believe this is FREE on SW! It’s so creamy and tasty, love it!”

“This is one of the best SW meals so far, great fall back if you are short of time. Served with loads of salad and a Syn of Parmesan. Gorgeous.”

Beef tagliatelle

“I am from Italian descent and this was delicious. Tagliatelle can be tricky so make sure you cook as it says and give it a good stir to separate the strands. Just yummy in my tummy, I shall be buying it again without doubt.”

“Lovely meal really tasty and filling. Added some carrots for extra Speed veg. Will definitely be buying again.”

King prawn linguine

@sw_amyk_ keeps our king prawn linguine on hand for when she needs a healthy lunch in a hurry!

“This product is brilliant thank you Slimming World! I was impressed by the number of prawns. Really tasty, just like you would get at an Italian restaurant but no Syns! Loving the new range and great for the warmer weather.”

“For me this was the best Slimming World meal I’ve tried so far. Rich (not watery), generous amount of king prawns and so tasty. 10/10.”

Penne arrabbiata

“Delicious! Love the big peppers and onions. Really tasty and filling. The new range of pasta dishes looks great – I will be buying more of them!”

“Very very tasty, full of flavour, nice and filling. Would definitely recommend and will be buying again.”

Each of these meals can be on the table in just 12 minutes. The difficult part is deciding which one to try first!

Slimming World chicken carbonara recipe

While we developed the food range to offer a convenient, healthy option when needed, at Slimming World, we’re all about cooking from scratch when you can. Another benefit of the range is that each dish has the full recipe printed on the packaging, giving you the option to make it yourself next time. If you’re excited to bring a taste of Italy to your dinner table, this chicken carbonara makes an amazing midweek meal for the whole family.

Chicken carbonara

serves 4
FREE
ready in 35 minutes

What you need:

low-calorie cooking spray
1 large onion, chopped
350g closed-cup mushrooms, sliced
½ x 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
75g cauliflower florets
4 skinless and boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
3 large garlic cloves, crushed
½ tsp dried sage
1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp Marmite
125g lean smoked ham, visible fat removed, chopped
80g baby spinach, shredded
400g dried spaghetti
150g plain quark

What you do:

1. Spray a large non-stick saucepan with low-calorie cooking spray and place over a medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes or until the water from the mushrooms has gone, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, put the beans and cauliflower in a food processor, add 100ml water and blend until fairly smooth.
3. Add the bean purée to the mushrooms, along with the chicken, garlic, sage, stock cube, mustard powder and Marmite. Add 350ml boiling water, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the ham and spinach and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the pack instructions. Drain, reserving 4-5 tbsp of the cooking water.
5. Stir the cooking water into the chicken and sauce, remove from the heat and stir in the quark. Stir the chicken and sauce into the pasta, season lightly and serve hot with a salad.

Vegetarian tip: If you prefer, this satisfying pasta dish can be made without the chicken and ham and using a vegetable stock cube. Or replace with Quorn pieces and Quorn vegetarian ham slices  – both Free on the Slimming World plan.

More Slimming World pasta recipes

If you’re hungry for more recipes using this fantastic Free Food, the new Passion for Pasta (and Noodles!) book is available now for Slimming World members to buy from our online e-shop. Packed with favourites like this meatball pasta bake, as well as some more surprising ways to use this store-cupboard staple, it’s full of pasta-bilities! 

Our members will also find around 200 pasta recipes on the website – as well as lots of great ideas in group or in the Slimming World Online Community.

Whether you’re trying out a recipe from the new book or giving one of our food range pasta dishes a go, we’d love to know what you think! You can email us at the blog or share on social using #theSlimmingWorldblog. 

You can find out more about joining Slimming World here.

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