"Who needs pasta or rice noodles when you have a spiralizer?"

A spiralizer turns vegetables like carrots, beetroots, butternut squashes or sweet potatoes into long strands that curl like bouncy locks of hair. You can choose just one vegetable or do three and create a tricolour spiraletti!

There are different ways of serving them. They can be baked in the oven on a baking tray for 15 minutes or steamed for 10 minutes to par cook them. This allows the spiraletti to soak up any sauce that is then poured over them. You can eat them raw too and marinade the spiraletti for an hour or so in a raw pasta sauce to soften or pour over a hot cooked sauce and the spiraletti will yield to it and soak up the flavours. 

Marinara Sauce

This is a basic raw tomato pasta sauce. It is incredibly easy and quick to make and full of flavour.  

Ingredients

  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 30g sundried tomatoes
  • 1 date
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh basil leaves
  • fresh red chili (optional)

Method

Roughly chop everything but the chili and the basil and put in a blender. Blend until it is smooth but still with texture. Taste it and add any extra seasoning. Then tear up as many basil leaves as you would like and add them to the mixture. If you are using chili then finely chop and add that too. I like to add some coarsely chopped olives at this point as well. 

You can make this in advance and leave it in the fridge which will allow the flavours to blend more. You can also heat it gently and have it as a warm sauce. My favourite is to have it just like the picture above...with spiralized veggies topped with homemade pesto and a few cherry tomatoes and freshly podded peas scattered over it. 

Pesto

Surely we all know how to make pesto. But there are variations of course. You can use all kinds of herbs instead of the traditional basil. You can use all kinds of other nuts instead of pinenuts. Here follows my favourite basic pesto, I don't include parmesaan by the way, it's dairy free. 

Ingredients

  • a big bunch of basil (about 60g) - you can use a jar of basil, but the colour and taste will be different
  • 75g pinenuts, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • sea salt
  • 2 to 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

If you have a pestle and mortar, it's the best for making pesto. If not then you can chop by hand or use a small blender.

Put the garlic clove and a sprinkle of sea salt into the mortar and bash it with the pestle until it is crushed. Then add the basil leaves and the pinenuts and bash those until they are crushed into a coarse paste. Pour in the oil and gentle muddle it into the mixture. You can loosen it more with some water if you like. Taste it and see if it needs any more salt or some pepper. That's it! It will keep in the fridge for a few days. 

Spiraletti is a fantastic way of increasing the vegetable intake for you and the family. It will also increase your intake of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fibre. They are so much more nutritious than wheat pasta. Add to this the sauce, which is in itself full of nutrients and then the pesto, which has some protein in it, and you have a wonderfully colourful and nourishing meal. If you want to increase the protein levels you can add pan fried chicken breast strips and then coat them in pesto or, for a vegan option, you can add some chunks of pan fried tempeh and do the same. 

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