The accidental discovery through Twitter that January 4th is National Spaghetti Day was a welcome answer to that age-old dilemma in our household of what precisely to cook for dinner. I’ve never been that impressed with gluten-free spaghetti as it has inevitably turned into lumps of glutinous mess, rather than the delicate strands it starts out as, no matter how I’ve cooked it. This time I decided to try some of the Glutafin spaghetti we were given at the Allergy and Free-from Show back at the start of last summer to see if I could get a better result.
The biggest decision I had to make was what sauce to concoct for G and M. They’re not too keen on a traditional bolognese and I wasn’t sure I could adapt a carbonara recipe without a little work beforehand. There’s nothing I love more than just throwing together ingredients from the fridge and, as M had expressed a desire for prawns the night before, I decided to base my pasta sauce on those and the little smoked salmon I had left after Christmas.
Using my fail-safe base of onion and garlic, I added the prawns, some smoked salmon trimmings, corn, peas and some chopped chestnuts. One of the challenges that we’ve given G for 2014 is to choose a new vegetable or fruit to add to each meal. The variety of fruit and vegetables that she eats is relatively limited and we have struggled to successfully increase the amount she will eat. At every meal, I am now offering her a choice of 2 she dislikes or hasn’t tried before. She can choose which one she would prefer and then add it to the meal in some way or another. For this meal, G had the choice of adding tomato to the main course or orange to her pudding and quickly decided on the tomato. I added a chopped tomato to the pasta sauce and finished it with some coconut cream.
I cooked the spaghetti in strict adherence to the instructions on the pack – boiling water, a tablespoon of olive oil and stirring the pasta only once before allowing to cook for 10 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised by the results and the spaghetti was an immediate hit with both G and M.
This was a quick and easy pasta recipe that made use of some of the leftovers from Christmas and a selection of vegetables from the fridge and freezer, whilst being completely M-friendly. You could obviously add whatever vegetables you wanted – I added courgettes and mushrooms to the sauce for Mike and me to enjoy – and can always use cream or creme fraiche instead of the coconut cream if you don’t need to be dairy- and soya-free. Best of all, it got that all important extra vegetable into G with the minimum of fuss!