Italian here, too, and there was no way I could give up my pasta.
The way I see it, if you can't make any particular diet a permanent lifestyle change, then don't do it. I personally found it much easier to avoid foods high in saturated fats for the long-haul.
I changed my meals involving pasta more geared towards the northern areas of Italy as opposed to the southern areas. Think pasta primavera instead of lasagna (more veggie pastas with olive oil and a touch of parmesan instead of cheese pastas with rigotta and meat gravies). This is an easy lifestyle change I can live with and enjoy -- just watch the portion sizes on that pasta and, of course, everything in moderation.
Sometimes I use a wheat-based pasta; sometimes I don't.
My hubby & I have lost 100+ pounds in the last year and we've eaten pasta, as well as rice, bread (including white Italian!), lean meats, olive oil, plenty of fruits & veggies, skim dairy and even some sugar. The things we avoid are foods high in saturated fat and anything with trans fat. Of course we take brisk walks daily. Our main literature we used for references/recipes were the American Heart Assocation Step I & II diets, the Omega Plan, as well as Weight Watchers cookbooks (they have an awesome Italian one, btw) which implements low-calorie meals.
Best of luck