Over the last few decades, pasta has become a staple ingredient for Western society. It’s quick and easy to prepare, it’s filling and it’s cheap.
We have continued to enjoy a love affair with Italian cuisine, romanticising the dishes that come from this beautiful part of the world. And so we should - the ingredients and ideas that we can utilise from these dishes have transformed the selection of flavours we have to hand in our kitchens.
However, the truth about pasta - especially the white, processed type we are so fond of - is that it holds little to no nutritional value, and is often used to substitute real, wholesome food because of it’s ease to prepare. One serving can easily rack up 50-100g of simple carbohydrates, with only 5% of this being fibre. Not great news for satiety or blood sugar levels.
For example, if we compare the recipe below to the same dish but using real spaghetti, you immediate add 252 calories (a 72% increase) and 53g of carbohydrate (only 1.1g of this being fibre, and in total a whopping 646% increase in carb intake).
Courgettes are a fantastic substitute for spaghetti. The are high in fibre and vitamins, and very low in calories. More importantly from an enjoyment perspective, they hold their ‘spaghetti shape’ brilliantly and allow the flavour of the sauce to shine through, just like in traditional pasta dishes.
All you need to turn a courgette into spaghetti is a spiraliser like the one shown in the following recipe. You can buy this exact one on Amazon.
Below is just one delicious recipe you can try, but really you can make any sauce you choose to go with your ‘spaghetti’. I also love meatballs with a lovely tomato and basil sauce.
Chicken, spinach and mushroom 'spaghetti'
250g skinned boneless chicken breast or thigh, cut into 2cm cubes
2 medium courgettes
4 spring onions, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
10 button or chestnut mushrooms, finely sliced
200g fresh spinach
100ml crème fraîche
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp corn flour (optional)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Nutritional Facts Per Serving (calculated using My Fitness Pal)
Carbohydrates: 8.2g (2.4g of which fibre)
Indulging? Why not add a sprinkle of Parmesan before eating for extra flavour.
What do you think of this recipe? Do you have any tips for other readers? Let us know in the comments below!