Spaghetti Al Pomodoro (serves 2)

Spaghetti Al Pomodoro by The Fat Foodie

We don’t eat a lot of spaghetti in our house because I tend to prefer my carbs in the form of vegetables or rice, but this recipe for Spaghetti al Pomodoro breaks the rule. I first made this Spaghetti al Pomodoro when my vegan step-son was visiting because I had a large pack of common tomatoes that needed to be used up and I wanted to make something for dinner that was fresh, but filling.

https://fodmarket.co.uk/ recently contacted me to see if I would like to try out some of their products and one of the ones that they suggested was Massel 7’s vegetable stock cubes. Massel is an Australian brand which makes a range of stock cubes which are low FODMAP because they don’t contain any onion or garlic. They’re also gluten-free and vegan.

Massel 7’s Vegetable Stock Cubes

After trying the Massel stock cubes in a number of recipes I have to say that I was really impressed. Considering that they don’t contain any strong-tasting vegetable extracts, such as onion or garlic, they worked extremely well as a high quality seasoning stock. They’re based around other herbs and vegetables (which include celery, cabbage, spinach and bay leaves) and can act as a light, but flavoursome stock for countless recipes.

(I should point out that I’m not being paid to say this, nor am I earning any affiliate commission from https://fodmarket.co.uk/ for this post either.)

Whenever I boil pasta I always add two or three stock cubes to the cooking water because I find that pasta is quite plain-tasting in general, but cooking it in the stock water infuses the cooked pasta with way more flavour. It might seem a bit luxurious to ‘waste’ stock cubes in this manner, but it really does make a huge difference to the overall taste of the pasta. Give it a go and see what you think.

If you’re in the mood for a light and fresh evening meal that celebrates humble, yet delicious, ingredients, such as tomatoes and pasta, then you can’t go wrong with Spaghetti al Pomodoro. With a simple topping of grated parmesan (or a non-dairy version) and freshly torn basil leaves you’ve the makings of a very satisfying supper.

Ingredients:

160g dried gluten-free spaghetti

500g common tomatoes (chopped)

1 tsp red wine vinegar

2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp white sugar

2 tbsps of water

Salt and pepper (to taste)

Fresh basil leaves (to serve)

40g grated parmesan (or non-dairy version)

Method:

To make the sauce put a saucepan over a medium heat and add the tomatoes, red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and let the tomatoes steadily pulp down. Add more water if you think the mixture is getting too dry.

Put a large saucepan over a medium-high heat (and add stock cubes to the cooking water, if you like) and cook your spaghetti until it is done to your liking.

Once the tomatoes have broken down and the sauce is thick add salt and pepper to taste.

Drain the spaghetti and then mix the pomodoro sauce through it before serving it with fresh basil leaves and grated parmesan.

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Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Linguine (serves 4)

Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Linguine by The Fat Foodie

This creamy Chicken and Broccoli Linguine has quickly risen to the top of my favourite pasta dishes chart thanks to its tender chunks of chicken breast which are accompanied with crisp, fresh broccoli floret heads and soft linguine which is all coated in a decadent cream cheese sauce. Linguine has to be one of my favourite pasta shapes because it holds onto the sauce you serve it with really well thanks to its flat shape which gives it a wider surface upon which the sauce can cling.

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Spinach and Walnut Pasta (serves 4)

Spinach and Walnut Pasta by The Fat Foodie

I know a lot of people who absolutely adore pasta, but I have to say that I think there are tastier carbohydrates to be had out there. However, I can’t deny that pasta is a really convenient meal to whip up in no time at all when you need to make a quick weekday meal. I also cannot argue with the fact that there are countless sauces and toppings that you can serve with your pasta. One flavour combination that I’ve wanted to try making for absolutely ages is spinach and walnut pasta. There was just something about the crunchiness of the walnuts with the softly wilted spinach that intrigued me and thankfully it didn’t disappoint.

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Free-From Lasagne (serves 4-6)

Free From Lasagne by The Fat Foodie

Everyone loves lasagne, it’s just one of those universally adored dishes that Italy’s renowned for. However, when I went dairy-free and onto the low FODMAP diet I was concerned that it would be off the cards because it normally has lots of onion, garlic and cheese in it, but I made a conscious effort to adapt my usual lasagne recipe into a FODMAP friendly one and it seemed to have been successful.

When I started looking into the FODMAP diet and for ways to incorporate onion and garlic flavours into my cooking I discovered that you can use chives without it having any impact on your IBS and that garlic-infused oil is fine to use too, as long as you don’t consume the actual garlic itself. During my onion-based investigations though (forgive me, I’ve been reading a lot of old-school crime novels lately), I also found out that there is an Indian spice called asafoetida which mimics the flavour of onion. I was pretty sceptical to be honest, but I ordered some asafoetida online and was thrilled to find out that it genuinely does taste like onion!

Now, you’ve got to be careful when buying asafoetida because some of the spice mixes are blended with gluten flours to make it less potent (it’s a very strong spice), but there are some, such as this one, which are blended with other spices like ground fenugreek instead.

I’d really recommend trying asafoetida if you’re on the low FODMAP diet and you ordinarily enjoy onion and garlic flavours in your cooking because it definitely does what it says on the tin. As a result, my lasagne sheets were layered between a rich, thick, onion-infused meaty ragù that was just as satisfying as the standard version. This free-from lasagne is also topped with a creamy, cheesy dairy-free white sauce that definitely doesn’t make you feel like you’re missing out on dairy (although if you’re not dairy-free you could just use a couple of sachets of cheese sauce mix instead).

I served the free-from lasagne with a fresh green salad that was liberally dotted with fat, plump little jewel-green caperberries whose piquancy cut through the richness of the lasagne and added a tart freshness to the dish, but feel free to just serve it with chips if you’d prefer. You’ll find no judgement here from me, my friends.

Ingredients for the pork ragù:

450g pork mince (use beef if you’d prefer)

200g red bell pepper (diced)

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsps dried oregano

360g of tinned chopped tomatoes

1 tsp salt

1 tsp asafoetida

Gluten-free lasagne sheets

Dairy-free cheese for lasagne topping

For the white sauce:

25g dairy-free butter

25g gluten-free flour

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 tbsps Engevita

200ml rice milk

Preheat your oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F/ Gas mark 5.

Method to make the ragù:

Put the pork mince in a saucepan with 1 tbsp olive oil and cook until done.

Add the red peppers, oregano, salt, asafoetida, chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and cook until hot.

To make the white sauce: melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat before whisking in the flour, black pepper and Engevita.

Slowly add a little rice milk at a time, stirring continuously, so that eventually a thick sauce is created. (Don’t panic if it looks really lumpy, just keep stirring and adding more milk and it’ll come together.)

Once the white sauce is thick take it off the heat .

Take a rectangular casserole dish and put a layer of ragù on the bottom and top it with lasagne sheets. Repeat until you’ve used up all of the ragù.

Whisk the egg thoroughly into the white sauce mixture, pour on top of the lasagne, top with the dairy-free cheese and bake in the oven for around 45 mins.

Serve with a salad (and/or chips!).

Free From Lasagne by The Fat Foodie

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