Whether you’re low-carbing or not, zucchini pasta is an undeniably fun way to get a big serving of veggies in. It’s mysteriously amusing to twirl zucchini about on a fork. Cooked *just* for a few seconds, these al dente textured “noodles” are a delicious substitution for carb filled spaghetti. They even have the good-for-you benefits of fresh veggies as a wonderful bonus.
I served my noodles with a fresh baby tomato and basil bruschetta. It tastes great right after preparation, but improves with a little time (overnight is best) in the fridge. The combo made for a really light and fresh side dish. Perfect for a hot summer day!
This is a very, very light dish. You could actually eat all 4 servings, the whole kit and caboodle, for less than 300 calories. It’s no fun eating a meal and being hungry 0.35 seconds later, so I grilled up some simple chicken breasts to go alongside. Hurrah for satiating protein!
I used my new favorite gadget, the mandoline slicer, to make these zucchini noodles. If you’re a wizard with a chef’s knife you could attempt to make them by hand…..but I assume that would take a very, very long time. A great sub for the mandoline is the humble but trusty vegetable peeler. Just simply peel and peel your zucchini until you’re left with a pile of fettuccine shaped “noodles.” I’ve used this technique before, making do chua (Vietnamese pickles) and it was a great success. Easy peasy.
As a general PSA, be verrrrrry careful when using your mandoline. I only operate mine with a cut resistant glove because I would surely injure myself without it. That glove has absorbed some serious finger damage.
Recipe will serve 2-4 as a side
- Mandoline equipped with 1/8″ julienne cut blade
- Large bowl for an ice water bath
- 4-5 medium sized Italian Squash or zucchini
- 2 tablespoons Kosher Salt
- 3 quarts boiling water
- 2 cups ice cubes + bowl full of cold water
For the bruschetta:
- 2 cups baby tomatoes (sliced in thirds)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves (fine chiffonade)
- 1 large clove garlic (very fine mince)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Bring water to a boil in a large pot and add salt
- Prepare ice water bath
- Drop julienne zucchini into boiled water and gently stir. Immediately remove zucchini with tongs and drop into ice water bath, stirring gently to cover with water and stop the cooking process
- Drain thoroughly, toss with bruschetta and top with shaved Parmesan cheese if desired.
There’s a time for pasta, and then there’s a time for “pasta.” Since I plan to be in a bathing suit in the very near future, I figure I should put my carboholic tendencies aside for a bit. I’m not happy about it people, but eating delicious substitutions like this one really curbs my complaining.
This almost looks like the spinach linguine I posted a few days ago! Kitchen trickery at it’s best.
If you would like to serve these zucchini noodles with a warm sauce, just skip the quick blanch. The heat from the sauce will be just enough to soften then to al dente perfection!