I am not entirely sure where I first heard of the zucchini noodles concept, though if I had to guess I’d say it was likely Deb who introduced it to me (and by “Deb” I mean Deb Perelman of smitten kitchen, with whom I am on a first name basis with only in my heart; and by “introduced” I mean I saw it on her fabulous blog).
With a mandolin — or with a knife and some chutzpah — you create strands of zucchini to the width and length of spaghetti. All you need to do is flash boil them for 30 seconds, and they become malleable and able to be twisted around a fork. They add a lovely dash of green to a bowl of noodles, which helps takes away any guilt one might foolishly associate with eating carbohydrates.
This recipe comes together quickly and is comforting enough for cold nights but light enough for the start of spring. And most importantly, it just tastes good.
I add ribbons of spinach to add even more green, because it makes me feel good. Basil would be a great substitute for that or a strong addition if you have any on hand. For me there is nothing better than a bowl of pasta at the end of the day. Or the beginning of the day…whatever floats your boat.
½ box of whole-wheat spaghetti
1 cup spinach leaves
½ grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup olive oil
5 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, peeled
2 slices of lemon
salt, pepper, red pepper flake to taste
- in a sauce pan over low heat, add the olive oil, butter, garlic cloves, lemon slices, and seasoning. Let the butter melt and leave over low heat while pasta and zucchini cook.
- With a mandolin or knife slice the zucchini into thin strands. Cut the spinach leaves into thin strips.
- Boil the pasta according to your personal al dente preference, adding the zucchini for the last 30 seconds of the cooking.
- Remove lemon slices and garlic cloves form the sauce pan, and discard. Drain pasta and zucchini and add them to the sauce pan. Combine everything so sauce evenly coats the noodles and vegetables, and if necessary, add more salt and pepper.
- Top with grated cheese and serve HOT.
- And leave no noodle behind.