Monday, August 11, 2014

Zesty Zucchini "Spaghetti"




 Here's a quick and easy throw together dinner that, for me, screams summer in a bowl. Instead of having pasta (since I'm choosing to restrict carbs from my diet), I decided to make "noodles" out of the zucchini! It's not exactly the same, of course, but it absolutely satisfies the craving for a big bowl of delicious and hearty Italian-ness.
 I used a mandolin slicer to make long strands of zucchini and they act as the spaghetti. Then you add some tomatoes, basil and cheese, and boom, there's your dinner. It was SO flavorful, I couldn't stop eating it! And it's something different to do with all the extra zucchini (if you happen to be lucky enough to have your own vegetable garden.) Definitely give this one a try!


3 medium zucchini
olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
handful fresh basil
kosher salt to taste
crushed red pepper flakes to taste
lots of Parmesan cheese

 Shred zucchini into long noodles using a mandolin slicer or box grater. Set aside. Add a few glugs of olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for just a minute or so, being careful not to burn it. Add the can of tomatoes, salt and red pepper flakes. Add the zucchini noodles and give everything a good stir. Cover and cook about 8-10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Add grape tomatoes, chopped fresh basil and Parmesan cheese. Toss everything together and serve immediately.


Tips:
 When you shred the zucchini, go lengthwise so you wind up with nice long noodles. Just shred the outside of the zucchini down to the seeds. If you try to make noodles out of the center where the seeds are, they'll just fall apart. You can either discard the center or chop it up and throw it into a soup or salad.
If you don't have a mandolin slicer, you can still dice up the zucchini and saute it for a bit before adding the other ingredients.
If you'd like to add chopped onions with the garlic, go for it!
 If you'd like a thicker sauce, add a little tomato paste with the can of tomatoes.
To make this dish completely Vegan, substitute a Vegan grated cheese.

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