This recipe was inspired by my friend Ashley who had told me how a friend of hers was suggesting that she go on a gluten free diet, because all her life she has had eczema issues with her skin. In efforts to clear up her skin once and for all, she really wanted to try out some options to see if she would be able to follow through with a gluten free diet. Last year, my dad had also tried the gluten free route, so I am very familiar with some gluten free products and had pointed her in the right direction as far as alternatives for certain foods, go. We are both Italian, so cutting out pasta altogether is pretty much sacrilegious, and more of a challenge than you even know!We tried out some gluten free dishes that she would enjoy eating, and that are super easy to make as well! Also, my parents came home this day with some vegetables from my grandmother’s garden! They brought home some yellow squash and fresh cucumbers!! I just had to try them out in this dish!!
Note* We did try the gluten free pasta for Ashley, but feel free to substitute in regular pasta if you are able to eat gluten.
1 Pound of Gluten Free Spaghetti (We used Schar Brand)
1 Yellow Squash
Half a Bag of Baby Spinach
1 Clove of Garlic
1 Stick of Earth Balance Vegan Butter
Handful of Shrimp (Fresh or Frozen is up to you)
Salt n Pepper
Half a Lemon
1. So first we’re going to chop up our squash; now this is just a matter of personal preference, Ashley didn’t mind the squash skins on, but I think next time I make it I would peel the skin off first. Even after cooking them and steaming them for 20 minutes, the skins were still really hard and crunchy to the bite. It was a bit too thick for me, but prepare it to your personal preference.
2. Next if you are using frozen shrimp, defrost them in some lukewarm water. Not hot, or they will cook! Let those defrost for a bit while you do the next steps.
3. Chop your garlic. Yes I use LOTS of garlic for my dishes… I’m Italian, what can I say!?!?
At least I keep the vampires away!
4. So oil your pan, turn up the heat and when that gets nice and hot, add your garlic. Before that browns, add about half of your butter. Let the butter melt a bit so the oil and the butter start to make a nice little sauce. Now add your squash to the pan! Put a lid on that and let those steam!
5. While your squash is steaming, start a pot of salted water for your pasta! I would also strain the defrosting shrimp at this point, rid them of any tail shells, and cut them in nice sized chunks. This way, more shrimp is spread evenly throughout your pasta once you mix it together.
6. Once your shrimp are cleaned up and defrosted, check on your squash. Add your spinach to your now tenderly cooked squash along with the other half of the butter, and let that melt over the veggies. Stir that around until the butter is evenly coating all of the veggies. Lower the heat and add the lid, leaving it cracked open.
7. Your pasta water should be boiling by now. Add your pasta and stir with a pasta ladle to prevent it from sticking together. Now just an FYI for anyone cooking Gluten Free pasta for the first time…
As you are cooking it and tasting it to see if it is done, it does have a very cardboardy, fake kind of taste, and it is going to taste a little “off” until it is fully cooked. If you are used to pasta with gluten and eat it often, switching over to gluten free pasta is a bit weird at first, but the taste is pretty manageable, and with the right ingredients it can be delicious!
8. While your pasta is cooking, now add your shrimp to your squash and spinach mixture! We add this last because shrimp cooks very fast, and we don’t want to overcook it! Now salt n pepper it, and add your half a lemon’s juice to it.
9. Make sure you are still stirring your pasta and taste to see if it’s done. It’s a bit tough to eat gluten free pasta al dente, you want to make sure it is cooked all the way through so it doesn’t taste like cardboard. Strain your pasta once that is done! I would not rinse the pasta with water, I’m not sure about gluten free pasta, but with regular pasta, rinsing it rids the pasta of all of it’s starches, and in traditional Italian cooking, we like to keep in all of that flavor! So right after you strain the pasta, put it into your large pasta bowl, and dump in your Squash, Spinach, and Shrimp Mixture! Mix everything together!
HOW DELICIOUS DOES THIS LOOK!?
Ashley LOVED the recipe! I think she will do just fine with her new gluten free diet, Let’s wish her the best of luck!
Are you thinking about going gluten free, or have you already tried such a diet? How did things turn out for you? Did it soothe what ails you? Have you had success?
Comment below and please let us know! We hope you enjoyed our recipes for today!
If you try them out, please let us know how they turn out..
And also comment below and let us know if you have any questions as well!
I grew up in an Italian household, so food to me is a very personal experience. Food to me, means family sitting down together to enjoy a nice meal. It is the part of the day that I cherish the most, bonding over stories and flavors. Good food is one of the greatest enjoyments of life.