One of my former favorite gluten-filled foods was angel hair pasta. There was nothing like swirling my fork around a plate, raveling a mess of pasta drenched in sauce and cheese and scooping it all into my mouth. While there are some great gluten-free pasta options available (the corn pasta is probably my favorite!), I feel I’ve had to sacrifice in the spaghetti/angel hair department. The structure of the corn pasta just doesn’t have the same effect on longer strands, so while tubular gluten-free ziti is delicious, the eating experience just isn’t the same.
Recently, however, I began experimenting with the use of spaghetti squash as a “pasta” substitute. Spaghetti squash is a type of winter squash that is widely available in these colder months. The squash has only about 40 calories per cup, and is much lower in total carbohydrates than traditional and gluten-free pastas. Additionally, spaghetti squash is high in carotenoids and vitamin A, which both help to support your immune system (which, as all Celiacs know, our immune systems can take all they help they can get, particularly if you’re still recovering from gluten exposure!). You can also roast the spaghetti squash seeds like pumpkin seeds and add them to your snack trail mix!
If you’re new to trying out the spaghetti squash, to prepare just slice the squash in half and microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, or until soft. Scoop out the center pulp and seeds, and then use a fork to shred the squash into the spaghetti-like strands. Mix with your favorite pasta toppings (I like to sautee onions, mushrooms, and ground turkey meat, and add in some tomato sauce) and enjoy your gluten-free “angel hair pasta”!