You can make vegetable spaghetti from any vegs that you can cut in the spiral slicer. The most typical version is made with courgette, because it has a really light taste and it barely needs any cooking when it`s cut so thin, so it is enough to infuse it in the warm pasta sauce for a few minutes before serving. In this recipe I decided to use carrots as basis, because they have a slightly sweeter taste and a little more bite when cooked. They make a perfect combination with this slightly sweet and hot creamy sauce of roasted sweet pepper, walnuts and cheese with little bites of the salty black olives.
Vegetable spaghetti is really popular in the paleo diets as an alternative to pasta dishes, but it is also perfect for peolpe with intolerance to gluten, because it`s naturally grain-free. But even if you are not following any diet I think it`s just a brilliant simple idea because you can enjoy your favourite pasta sauces while, instead of eating only carbs, you pack lots of vitamins, minerals and fibres.
I find it fascinating how the slightly-cooked spaghetti-shaped carrots give such a similar impression as spaghetti. They do of course, even under heaps and heaps of delicious sauce, still taste like carrots, and they have more of a bite which I really like as well.
Even before my intolerance I was never a big pasta-eater. So in the beginning when I started eating gluten-free I rarely ate pasta. Ten years ago it was not easily available for one, but putting your hands on dry gluten-free pasta was not even the hardest part. My problem was that since it tasted different and not everibody liked it I always cooked gluten-free pasta for myself and normal for everibody else. In the end it just felt much easier to cook dishes that you don`t have to make two different versions of. Up until now I still prefer to make one dish that everybody can eat and where no one has to give up on taste.
Ingredients (makes 4 portions):
- 1000 grams of carrots (6 bigger carrot)
- 70 grams of walnuts
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 3 small onions
- 2 sweet red peppers
- 125 grams of cheese (diced)
- ½ teaspoon of red chilli flakes or cayenne pepper
- 200 ml almond milk (or your preferred milk)
- A pinch of salt
- Black pepper
- 100 grams of black olives
- Bunch of parsley
First clean and slice the carrots with your spiral slicer. Take the small pieces that you can not peel anymore chop them small and set aside.
Toast walnuts in a dry non-stick skillet for a few minutes then tip them into the blender. Clean and mince garlic and onion, then wash peppers, remove seeds and dice them.
Heat up the oil in a non-stick skillet, braise garlic and onion for a few minutes then add pepper and the “leftover” carrots. Roast for 10-15 minutes until the pepper is tender and tip it into the blender as well. Add cheese, almond milk and the spices and blend until smooth. Put it back into the pan on medium fire. As it start simmering set the fire low and add the spaghetti shaped carrots. Season with salt and pepper and more chilli flakes or cayenne pepper if you prefer it hotter. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick add some water (you might have to add 100-200 mililitre water as the sauce thickens in this 10 minutes). Chop the olives coarsely and mix with the carrots.
Serve it warm generously sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley.