Anti-banting: 50 pasta, bread and potato recipes for dedicated carb lovers

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (cake), you’ll have heard of Professor Tim Noakes and the so-called Banting Diet. Noakes has been rocking the boat with his high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating plan that was first made popular in the 19th century by a slimmed-down William Banting. And if your office is anything like ours, your frenzied colleagues have been bragging about their egg-and-bacon breakfasts and casting side-eyes at your jammy toast, muffins and anything with even a whisper of sugar.

While we’re excited about dining on duck breast or a 300g fillet for a weekday lunch (and not feeling guilty about it), we’re also quite strongly opposed to cutting down on baked treats and comfort-food favourites like pizza, pasta and risotto.

In protest, we’ve come up with a list of high-carb recipes, all inclusive of creamy pastas, tender gnocchi and hearty pies with potatoes and golden pastry.

Rice and noodles

Antonio Carluccio’s mushroom risotto
Enjoy the earthy flavours in this recipe by the Italian celebrity chef.

Antonio Carluccio’s mushroom risotto

Antonio Carluccio’s mushroom risotto

Asian brown rice and ostrich salad with a zesty lime dressing
The meatiness of the ostrich pairs beautifully with the brown rice.

Asparagus and fresh pea risotto
Something rich and hearty for vegetarians.

Avocado risotto
A creamy, comforting hit.

BBQ pork with curry noodles
Whip up this very simple recipe with grocery cupboard basics.

Butternut and chicken Thai red curry with noodles
Fragrant fresh coriander, coconut milk and Thai red curry paste make for an easy, fragrant curry.

Garlic and chilli prawns with lemon risotto
This silky risotto has a bit of bite.

Khadi kitchari
Almost every Indian household has their version of this fragrant rice dish.

Pea and mint risotto
Fresh and glossy, this risotto is perfect for a light weekday dinner.


Antonio Carluccio’s chicken liver pasta
Wrapping ribbons of pasta around your fork is a good way to rebel against the anti-carb movement.

Creamy salmon and rocket pasta
This dish is wholesome and rich.

Lemon and black pepper pasta with stracciatella cheese and artichokes

Lemon and black pepper pasta with stracciatella cheese and artichokes

Lemon and black pepper pasta with stracciatella cheese and artichokes
A scrumptious mix of melted cheese, sweet artichokes and lemony broad beans.

Pasta puttanesca
A classic sauce recipe calling for olives, capers and anchovies.

Pasta with goat’s cheese and thyme burnt butter
Serve this speedy pasta with baby spinach leaves for a meat-free meal.

Primavera pasta with lemon dressing
This healthy pasta dish is lemony and fresh.

Roast butternut and sage gnocchi
Delicious, meat-free comfort food.

Spinach and duck pasta
A simple and scrumptious recipe.

Summery spaghetti bolognaise by Simply Delicious
A South African take on an Italian classic.

Vegetarian lasagne cinnamon, pumpkin, feta and thyme
Gently spiced butternut makes this veggie lasagne a comforting treat.

Wild mushroom lasagne
This vegetarian recipe is truly luxurious.


Butter chicken bunny chow with tomato and yoghurt
Grab your napkins: this traditional street dish is served in hollowed out bread.

Butter chicken bunny chow with tomato and yoghurt

Butter chicken bunny chow with tomato and yoghurt

Chicken sandwiches with spinach and apple salad
This recipe is actually quite healthy, bread and all.

Pulled pork sandwiches
Great picnic or market food.

Savoury bread and butter puddings with garlic and parmesan
A classic pud turned savoury, this dish is great for dinner parties.


Andy Fenner’s sweet-potato gnocchi with shredded lamb
Heathlier than most starches, sweet potato is the star of this dish.

Basic gnocchi
Making your own is simple and affordable.

Cumin and coriander sweet potatoes
Deliciously flavoured starchy goodness.

Gnocchi with burnt sage butter
Trouble-free and delicious.

Potato gnocchi with Mont d’Or cheese
This cheesy potato gnocchi dish is perfect if you’re craving something hearty and filling.

Andy Fenner’s sweet-potato gnocchi with shredded lamb

Andy Fenner’s sweet-potato gnocchi with shredded lamb

Potato, taleggio and spinach tart
A moreish, tasty option with cheesy kick.

Sweet potato and chorizo fritters
Crispy and delicious, these fritters are ideal for starters or snacks.


Alida Ryder’s slow-cooked lamb, rosemary and roasted garlic pie
Succulent lamb in a rich sauce, topped with crisp, buttery puff pastry.

Autumn harvest potato and mushroom pie
Autumn is on our doorstep so these seasonal ingredients make a great filling for a pie.

Bernice van der Merwe’s pan pizza
Pizza is the ultimate temptation for those forgoing carbs.

Braised lamb neck and gorgonzola pie
This rich, slow-cooked lamb pie is given depth and richness by creamy gorgonzola and dates.

Calzone with greens
This homemade calzone pizza is streets ahead of the shop-bought variety.

Cheesy celeriac, potato and bacon pie
Layers of nutty gruyere cheese, sweet celeriac and bacon fill this easy pie.

Chicken, leek and mushroom pie
Great for all those leeks left over from your veggie drawer.

Chicken pie
The ultimate comfort food.

Chorizo and brie pasta
An impressive, smoky-creamy combination.

Free-form tart with vegetables
Blanched or roasted root vegetables serve as a fresh and tasty topping.

Hearty lamb shank pot pies
Rich and comforting, these pies are great for cooler weather.

Ilse van der Merwe’s springbok pie

Ilse van der Merwe’s springbok pie

Ilse van der Merwe’s springbok pie
This is a richly satisfying pie, perfect for entertaining.

Jane-Anne Hobb’s Moroccan-spiced chicken pie
A humble chicken pie with a twist.

Mini pork pies
Serve these with mustard to make the flavours sing.

Mushroom, butternut and feta cheesecake
Caramelised butternut, feta and fresh mushrooms make this savoury cheesecake pure comfort food.

Olive, feta and spinach phyllo pastry pie
Creamy feta is the perfect match for salty olives in this recipe.

Red wine, mushroom and onion puff pastry pie
Perfect for a hearty, meat-free dinner.

Souffléed crab and asparagus tart
A pinch of nutmeg and chilli powder lifts the crab meat and asparagus to something super special.

Wild mushroom, potato and goat’s cheese tart
Calling for cheesy pastry and potatoes, this tart is a carb masterpiece.

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