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How to Make Low-Carb Italian Food: Keto-Friendly Pizza and Pasta!

by Unsplash
by Unsplash

Italian food has to be one of my favourite types of cuisine.

Pizza, pasta, bread sticks – all of these are on my hit list of favourite foods, and they just seem to taste so much better with creamy mozzarella, tomatoes and basil literally thrown all over them.

So, it’s not surprising that when I switched to a low carb diet, one of the biggest shocks to my system was being unable to gorge myself on pasta with basil and olive oil. So, you can imagine how happy I was to discover alternative ways to enjoy both pasta and pizza, whilst sticking to a low-carb lifestyle. It is absolutely possible to enjoy a lot of your favourite foods on a low carbohydrate diet – all you have to do is get a little bit creative.

Check out the following recipes for low-carb and keto-friendly Italian food.

Almond-Flour Pasta Ribbons

The great thing about these almond flour pasta ribbons is that they are so diverse. Drizzle them with olive oil, and toss with Parma ham and mozzarella for a delicious low-carb pasta salad. You could even add a sprinkling of walnuts and some tender broccoli like @cappellos in the Instagram image above!

A quick note about the ingredients for this low-carb pasta, though. You’ll notice that the recipe calls for 2 cups of tapioca starch – but it’s important to point out here the term ‘starch’ shouldn’t put you off. Tapioca starch is actually classed as a resistant starch, which means that it is resistant to digestion. So in other words – it’s acceptable on a ketogenic diet.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of almond flour
  • 2 cups of tapioca starch
  • 2 Tbs + 2 tsp xanthan gum
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Method:

  1. Mix the tapioca starch, xanthan gum and the almond flour in a bowl together.
  2. Create a well in the middle of the flour mixture and crack the eggs into the well
  3. Gently beat the eggs with a fork, slowly edging the flour mixture into the egg until combined
  4. Once the mixture is dough-like enough to be kneaded, transfer from the bowl to a smooth surface dusted with a little almond flour
  5. Knead the dough until it is smooth and stretchy
  6. Roll into a ball, wrap in saran wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes
  7. Divide the dough mixture up into four equal pieces and roll out with a rolling pin into a roughly rectangular shape
  8. Feed each rectangle through the pasta maker at setting number 1, fold in half, and then feed through again.
  9. Repeat this for all four rectangles, before starting the process again – this time on setting number 2 (this will make for even thinner pasta)
  10. Take a sharp kitchen knife and draw down each rectangle, cutting thin ribbons. This can be done by hand (if you don’t mind the pasta being a little irregular) or you could use a pasta cutter for uniform thickness.
  11. Next, drop the pasta ribbons into a pot of salted, boiling water and cook for one minute, stirring gently

Now your pasta is ready!

We recommend serving warm, tossed in a salad with crunchy lettuce, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and sugar free Italian dressing such as Walden Farms! But you’re the chef – so it’s up to you how you serve it.

Low-Carb Pizza

If you don’t feel confident enough to make your own pasta, don’t worry. Try a keto-friendly pizza instead.

All you need is a pre-made low-carb pizza crust (available from most online low-car retailers) and a selection of your favourite toppings. You could also create your own homemade cauliflower pizza crust like @rawfoodchefjulie has in the Instagram post above. Just be careful with the tomato sauce or puree you smother over the top before baking. Consider purchasing a low-carb option, or sugar-free BBQ sauce instead.

It’s really up to you what you add to your pizza, but here’s a sample recipe (if you can call it that – it’s so darned easy):

  1. Smother the pizza crust with low-carb tomato sauce or BBQ sauce
  2. Sprinkle with grated white cheddar, or other cheese of your choice
  3. Tear chunks of mozzarella and sprinkle over the top
  4. Add chopped mushrooms, ham, peppers and cooked, shredded chicken breast
  5. Tear fresh basil leaves and rub with olive oil between the palms of your hands (this will help to release the flavour of the herbs without them burning in the oven), and sprinkle generously over the top
  6. Bake the pizza at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes until the cheese has melted

Simple and easy – this recipe is a pretty much fool-proof and is a great one to try with the kids.

What’s your favourite low-carb or keto-friendly pizza topping? Please feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.