Pasta was a food that I used to adore
But went off of it many years ago as it’s usually considered the root of all evil for dieters. Over time I actually sort of lost the taste for it. But now, as a high carb, low fat, plant based food lover, pasta is starting to make a small comeback in my food repertoire.
In this particular dish, I used 100 percent semolina durum wheat spaghetti pasta because it’s denser and thus releases slower in the digestive tract than other forms of wheat. Yes, it has gluten (fortunately only about 1 percent of the population is actually gluten intolerant) but its strong gluten bind is also the reason why it digests slowly in our system. Gluten, in other words, is your friend in pasta.
If gluten does bother you, you can always exchange the pasta for more, or all spiralled butternut squash, which is also absolutely lovely and lower calories.
The next main ingredient is of course the spiralled butternut squash. I bought this squash pre-spiralled at my local market, but you can also easily make your own. Well, maybe not so easily, because prepping your own butternut squash does take a little bit of work, but it can be done.
I only recently learned to peel a whole butternut squash and I had to look it up on the Internet. Now that I know how however, there is still a small debate as to whether it’s worth it or not? I recently asked several friends on Instagram what they thought, and surprisingly very few people actually have peeled their own. Many like me, didn’t even know how.
So I’ll leave it up to you whether you purchase pre-spiralled squash or create your own for this dish. Be aware however, if you opt to produce your own, you’ll need a spiralizer, or other spiralling tool, of which many different price ranges are available and can be purchased on Amazon with next day delivery.
This could actually be a good thing as its a great investment into your plant based kitchen appliance base – I use mine all the time!
Finally the amazing purple sprouting broccoli
This is actually a seasonal vegetable that comes around during the spring months. I personally find it fascinating and when I steam it, the water comes out purple. I read somewhere that you should save this nutrient rich water and use it in soups or stews, etc. I just pour it into a cup and drink it right down. It makes a yummy little purple high nutrient shot!
Ultimately you can use any type of broccoli or vegetable really. Although broccoli goes particularly well with the butternut squash and balsamic, as opposed to carrots or celery or another vegetable with a distinctive flavor. I find that most vegetables are extremely versatile, but some do go better together than others.
In my opinion… this dish was hearty, satisfying and very tasty.
I made it on a night when I was feeling exceptionally hungry and wanted something yummy & substantial. More full disclosure: I actually added a little cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, but normally this would have been a fat-free dish.
I’ll let you be the judge of your own dietary requirements!
Pasta, Spiralled Squash & Purple Broccoli
This is a SUPER delicious dish and great for when you're feeling really hungry.
- 100 grams spaghetti pasta 100% durham wheat
- 300 grams spiralled butternut squash prepackaged is fine
- 200 grams purple sprouted broccoli prepackaged is fine
- 1/4 cup balsamic vingear
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
- 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- pinch ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil Optional
1. In a large pot, bring about 5 cups of lightly salted water to a boil and add spaghetti noodles. Stir them regularly to keep them from sticking together.
2. While waiting for your water to boil, peel and spiral your butternut squash (or open and prep your package).
3. Prep your purple sprouting broccoli (wash & strip off excess leaves - these leaves also go great in green smoothies, so you might wish to save them). Or open and prep your package.
4. Check your spaghetti noodles periodically until they are just al dente (still slightly hard & chewy in the middle).
5. About 2-3 minutes before your noodles are done, toss in the squash and broccoli and allow them to come to a boil, but not get overcooked or wilted.
6. When your veggies are just gently tender and bright, dump your entire pot into a colander and drain.
7. Once everything is drained well, dump it all into a large bowl and toss together with balsamic vinegar, fresh thyme and dried herbs (olive oil, optional).
8. Spoon the noodle mixture onto your plate or bowl and top with more fresh herbs, salt and pepper to taste - Enjoy!