Sabrina over at Rhodygirl Tests wrote about Zucchini Pasta a little while back and I was dying to try it for all the same reasons she wanted to do it.
1. I love a big bowl of pasta but do not love the cals that come with a big bowl
2. I love zucchini and there is plenty of it right now
|This is what I was working with|
The recipe for the zucchini pasta is very simple.
-Use a veggie peeler to peel ribbons of zucchini.
I was trying to figure out the best way to do this as I wanted to have some of the skin left on the zucchini pasta both for nutrition (fiber) and for looks. The green stripe along either side of the ribbon looked pretty. I found that if I stripped off the skin on 4 sides of the zucchini length-wise and then started peeling for the actual pasta after that, I got exactly what I was looking for. The ribbons were about an inch wide. I peeled only until I started seeing seeds. At that point, the zucchini looked like a square block. What I should have done was grate it and toss it in the freezer for adding to other things later but I already had a ton so it went to the compost pile.
- Steam the ribbons over salted water for 2-3 minutes.
- Toss the zucchini with your favorite sauce or simple topping
Sabrina used pesto which looked amazing. She also suggested marinara or even just some garlic and olive oil. I had a bunch or really good looking tomatoes from my CSA that were begging to be put to good use so I made a quick sauce with tomatoes, cipollini onions, garlic and white wine. Other than the chopping/seeding of the tomatoes, this recipe is very quick and easy.
- Seed and chop tomatoes (I used 4 large), chop onions (3 small cipollini but you can use any type you like), chop garlic
-Heat a little olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add onions. Allow to soften at least, you can caramelize too if you like the flavor, add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds (I am TERRIBLE at letting garlic burn so I always add it when there are other things in the pan already), add the tomatoes and a little salt. The tomatoes will give off a good deal of liquid, allow it to cook down to concentrate the flavors. Once most of the liquid is gone, add some white wine (I poured anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup I think, just out the bottle) and allow that to cook down.
-When you are satisfied with the consistency of the sauce, remove from heat and add zucchini ribbons, toss gently.
-Plate and add your fave cheese to the top. I used a pecorino romano.
-Something I did not do which I will next time is allow the sauce and the zucchini to sit for a few minutes to let the flavors meld. I realized that I needed to do this when the dish kept getting better the more I ate. :)
|This is what I ended up with|
You'll notice I had an ear of corn in the first pic. I ate that as an app, raw over the sink...OMG so good! If you live in the Philly area, Maple Acres Farm in Plymouth Meeting has the BEST CORN EVER!
This dish was wonderful. I will make it again and again. I think next time I will make less sauce and allow the texture of the zucchini to be highlighted more. It was similar to pasta and I found that the ribbons with a little green skin were firmer (in a good way) than the ones without skin. This could be a great side as well especially if you have a significant other or other dinner partner that must have their meat at every meal.
Funny - I had a green stain on my hand from holding the zucchini and peeling. I have zucchini all the time and this was the first time that happened. Took a little scrubbing to get off too.
Let me know if you give it a try!