Italian dishes that won't bust your waistline

January 24, 2011 11:05:01 AM PST
Chef Alfredo Colle of Francesca's Pizzeria in Lincoln Park shares some recipes for lighter Italian dishes.

His Neapolitan style pizza has also been referred to as the skinny girl's pizza because of the type of crust and toppings.

Francesca's Pizzeria Napoletana
2423 N. Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60614
(just North of Clark and Fullerton)

Most people think that all Italian food is unhealthy and very high in calories, but there are many dishes you can make that won't bust your waistline and still let you enjoy the delicious, beloved flavors of the cuisine.

One thing that's easy to do when cooking pasta's especially is to first use whole wheat pastas. When you're making a dish like the penna primavera, let the vegetables be the focus and use a much smaller amount of pasta.

Neapolitan style pizzas tend to be better for you because of the dough. It's thin and our pizzas are generally very light. White pizzas are a bit healthier but you can always use less cheese and focus on the seasoning and healthier toppings.

All of the pizzas are fresh and made-to-order in the restaurant. They are baked in an 800 degree wood burning oven that is a traditional, hand-made oven straight from Naples.

Francesca's Pizzeria Napoletana is an authentic Neapolitan pizzeria located in Chicago's bustling Lincoln Park neighborhood. We offer over a dozen unique Neapolitan recipes with toppings like spicy salami, shaved parmesan, prosciutto and arugula.

Chef Alfredo Colle is a Naples native and has been cooking since the age of 13. Prior to becoming head chef of Francesca's Pizzeria, Colle served as Francis Ford Coppela's private chef and managed several of his restaurants.