Gone are the days when eating spaghetti meant depending only on one variety made of durum wheat. Now, you can easily make every Italian meal more interesting and healthier with spaghetti made of everything from quinoa to chickpeas, spinach to beetroot. Here’s everything you need to know about these amazing spaghetti varieties.
If you love Italian food and especially pasta, then you are no stranger to the delightful options spaghetti has to offer. From the simple aglio olio made with olive oil and garlic to the red Bolognese with meatballs, this long pasta variety now rules the hearts of millions of foodies around the world. For those who still have difficulty telling one pasta type from another, spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical-shaped pasta traditionally made of durum wheat semolina. Because it is made with flour, this pasta is usually white or off-white in colour.
With the growing popularity of Italian cuisine and the easy availability of spaghetti all over the world, this thin long pasta is now growing in demand across India. At the same time, people across the globe are also becoming more conscious about their health and avoiding ingredients that can lead to weight gain, allergies or other health problems. Unfortunately, traditionally made spaghetti is often considered unhealthy because of its refined wheat content. To overcome this, foodies, chefs and experts have innovated spaghetti varieties that are healthier and more colourful too.
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If you are looking to substitute durum wheat spaghetti with a healthier version just so that you don’t have to compromise or completely let go of your favourite Italian meals, then here are some colourful and healthy spaghetti varieties you should know more about.
Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Made with whole wheat or atta, this spaghetti variety is brown in colour and one of the more easily available healthy spaghetti varieties found in India. Because it is made with whole wheat, this spaghetti is more packed with dietary fibre and adds plenty of other vitamins and minerals to your Italian meals. Whole wheat spaghetti is also packed with B vitamins, which makes it a great variety for those with inflammation, digestive and weight issues.
If you are a fan of millets, then this spaghetti variety is for you. Apart from whole wheat, multigrain spaghetti varieties also include finger millets and buckwheat in their ingredients list. This means that multigrain spaghetti is not only packed with double the fibre of regular spaghetti, but is also chock full of plant proteins, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Multigrain pasta is usually reddish brown in colour.
If you are looking for a spaghetti variety that is gluten free and absolutely healthy, then quinoa spaghetti is one of your best bets. Made with the ancient grain that is now celebrated as a superfood across the world, quinoa spaghetti is very high in protein—higher even than other grain or lentil-based pasta varieties. Quinoa is packed with dietary fibre and essential minerals like iron, which are benefits that are automatically transferred to quinoa spaghetti as well. Quinoa spaghetti is brown in colour.
If the health issues you face require you to have low-fibre foods, then this spaghetti version is for you. Because rice is gluten free and very low in dietary fibre, rice spaghetti is easy to digest and a healthy option for those with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. Rice spaghetti is white in colour and much easier and quicker to cook. What’s more, it also adds a more familiar flavour to Italian meals that whole grain spaghetti varieties can.
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If you haven’t seen or tasted the vibrant green variety of spaghetti called spinach spaghetti, then you should! Spinach is a green leafy vegetable packed with dietary fibre, folate, iron, B vitamins and plenty of other minerals that are essential for health. So, spaghetti made of spinach is not only colourful but a great healthy option for all. Because spinach is very easy to cook, making spinach spaghetti at home if you have a pasta cutter is very easy. You can also source readymade spinach spaghetti from your supermarkets.
Bright red in colour and tasting exactly like regular spaghetti—except for that sweet hint of beetroot—this spaghetti variety is so vibrant and pretty to look at that it automatically makes Italian meals look alluring. What's more, beetroot spaghetti is completely gluten free, making it perfect for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Beetroot spaghetti also has fibre and trace amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, proving that this variety isn’t just pretty to look at but also very healthy.
There’s a reason why chickpeas are extremely popular among health freaks and foodies alike. Not only do chickpeas taste brilliantly meaty, but they also pack a punch of plant proteins. So, chickpeas spaghetti and other pasta made of lentils are bound to be full of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Chickpeas spaghetti is also perfect for those on a gluten-free diet, weight loss diet or diabetes diet. The best bit is, this nutty-flavoured, off-white spaghetti variety tastes great by itself, making its preparation just as easy as it is healthy.