Oftentimes I have a cup of leftover canned tomatoes in my fridge. It’s a versatile and cheap staple to have on hand. So when I peek into my fridge at lunchtime, and a cup of chopped tomatoes stares back at me, I know it’s time for pasta. Cooking low FODMAP spaghetti all’arrabiata will put a tasty spaghetti on the table with little effort. To make it a light dinner, serve a leafy green salad on the side.
Arrabbiata is Italian for “angry”, meaning it should be a very spicy dish. My version is a little grumpy at most. First of all, because I’m a northerner who can’t handle the heat that well. Second, using too much spice triggers my IBS. Of course, if eye-watering spicy food is your jam, use more chili flakes!
Chili infused oil
There’s a little catch to making spicy tomato sauce: both the canned tomatoes and the chili flakes contain fructose. To avoid accidentally stacking fructose, we’re going to make chili and garlic-infused oil. As you may know from making your own garlic-infused olive oil, FODMAPs are not oil-soluble. By removing the chili flakes and garlic from the oil after infusing, you get all the flavor with none of the FODMAPs.
Keep in mind that spicy food is a trigger for some people with IBS. If you react badly to capsaicin, you should skip this recipe.
Ingredients for low FODMAP spaghetti all’arrabiata
Most of the ingredients for this pasta are items I already have in my pantry and fridge. It’s a good base for adding meat and veggies to the sauce, too.
Gluten free spaghetti – I use a supermarket brand gluten-free pasta made from corn- and rice flour.
Canned chopped tomatoes – A good staple to have on hand. Monash has tested ‘common’ and Roma tomatoes, canned with juice. Both are safe in servings of 100 grams.
Garlic – You need one clove for infusing. Of course you could also use a store-bought garlic oil, and use that to infuse the chili flakes. Don’t forget to discard both garlic and chili flakes before cooking the sauce!
Chili flakes – A shelf-stable alternative to using fresh red chili pepper, I get these in a bag from the Asian grocery store.
Grana Padano – Pecorino romano would be a more authentic choice, but grana Padano is cheaper in my neck of the woods.
Dried basil – Again, cheaper than using fresh basil and plenty delicious.
Can I use fresh tomatoes instead?
I used to make low FODMAP spaghetti all’arrabiata with fresh tomatoes. However, fresh tomatoes were re-tested by Monash in March 2022, and found to contain fructose. A safe serving is only 65 grams, or half a tomato per person. Using that would yield very little sauce. If fructose is not a trigger for your IBS, go ahead and use fresh tomatoes! They make it extra delicious.
Low FODMAP spaghetti all’arrabiata
- 150 grams gluten free spaghetti
- 180 grams canned tomatoes
- 20 grams Grana Padano
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic (for infusing)
- 1/4 tsp chili flakes (for infusing)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- salt and pepper
- Cook the spaghetti al dente according to the package instructions.
- Put a skillet on low heat and add olive oil. Cut the garlic in half and add to the oil, along with the chili flakes. Let this infuse the olive oil for ten minutes, then sieve to remove the chili flakes and garlic.
- Turn the heat under the skillet up to medium-high. Add the canned tomatoes and stir in the dried basil. Let it simmer for about five minutes, or until it gets a more paste-like consistency, and season with salt and black pepper.
- Save some pasta water, then drain the spaghetti. Add the spaghetti to the skillet with tomato sauce. Stir spaghetti and use a little bit of your pasta water to help the tomato sauce bind to the pasta.
- Plate up your pasta and garnish with a sprinkle of grated Grana Padano.
- Canned tomatoes are low FODMAP up to 100 grams per serving (after that, high in fructose). If you have them, substitute for fresh common tomatoes, which are free of FODMAPs.
- Chili flakes contain a small amount of fructose, but as long as you remove the flakes from the oil after infusing, this shouldn’t stack. Chili flakes also contain capsaicin, which can trigger IBS symptoms in some people.
- Gluten free pasta is low FODMAP up to 140 grams of cooked pasta per serving (after that, high in fructans). Check the ingredients of your spaghetti to make sure it uses low FODMAP ingrediënts.
Blogpost and recipe last revisited July 2022.