Despite being part of the Mediterranean diet, pasta is a high-GI, starchy food that is broken down rapidly into sugars. And unfortunately brown pasta is not much better. For those of us trying to find alternatives to pasta, a spiraliser, which looks a bit like a giant serrated pencil sharpener and shreds chunks of veg into wonderful strands of ‘vegetti’, has become one of the must-have pieces of kitchen equipment. We have a fairly low-tech kitchen – most of the gadgets we do have lurk somewhere towards the back of the kitchen drawers. But the spiraliser is still right up there at the front. It works best on firm vegetables like carrots, zucchinis, butternut pumpkin, celeriac (and if this all sounds too much like hard work, the good news is that you can now buy pre-prepared spiralised veg from most supermarkets).
For those of us trying to find alternatives to pasta, a spiraliser, which looks a bit like a giant serrated pencil sharpener and shreds chunks of veg into wonderful strands of ‘vegetti’, has become one of the must-have pieces of kitchen equipment.
- 4 anchovies, from a jar or tin, drained and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- ¼-½ tsp chilli flakes or fresh chilli, deseeded and finely diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 200 g tinned chopped tomatoes
- 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
- 50 g pitted black olives, sliced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 large zucchini (about 200g), spiralised
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Over a gentle heat, fry the anchovies, garlic and chilli in the oil for 2-3 minutes. Press the anchovies against the pan with a wooden spoon to form a paste. Then add the tomatoes, capers, olives and oregano, and cook gently for 20-30 minutes without a lid.
About 5 minutes before the sauce is ready, steam, microwave or boil the spiralised zucchini for 2-3 minutes, so that it is still slightly al dente.
Serve the sauce on top of the spiralised zucchini along with a light salad.
Other spaghetti alternatives:
• Konjac-based low-carb noodles.
• Finely sliced cabbage, steamed or boiled green beans, shredded lengthwise (available in some supermarkets, frozen is fine).
Recipe and image from The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet Recipe Book (Simon & Schuster Australia, $35, pbk). Photography by Joe Sarah.