If you had told me two years ago that I’d be going to the gym or exercising (mostly alone, mind you) 2-3 days a week and preferring zucchini to pasta–I’d’ve told you that you were insane. Or asked where your time machine was for proof.
When my mom cut gluten out of her diet, I started trying more ways to enjoy things that are usually full of carbs and sugar but with better nutritional benefit. So far, I’ve made pizza boats out of zucchini (YUM!), started eating celeriac (also YUM!), discovered delicious new snacks (kale chips!), become obsessed with brussel sprouts and have made zucchini “noodles” or “zoodles” almost once a week for the last few months. Since this was already routine, when I moved out this summer, I took the healthy, low-carb diet along with me.
And this Italian girl still loves her pasta with a side of garlic bread–just much, much less often. Spiralizing zucchini has helped me to take a big step away from a diet high in processed foods. Pasta was always a go-to quick meal for me, and it still kind of is, but I usually sub out zucchini. Plus, Mike isn’t totally opposed and loves the bolognese just as much as I do.
FOR ALL RECIPES:
3 “good-sized” zucchinis, spiralized
Hint: All you’ll need to do is trim the ends off with a sharp knife. Just give the zucchini a good rinse, no need to peel.
AGLIO E OLIO
4 TBSP olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 fresh basil leaves, cut into strips (optional)
Salt & pepper
- Over medium heat, sautee the garlic in the oil until it begins to bubble, be sure it doesn’t brown. Let the garlic soften and the flavor meld into the oil. This should only take about 5 minutes.
- Add the zoodles and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let the noodles marry into the sauce, tossing them to ensure a good coating.
- Cook about 4-6 minutes or until only slightly tender. If you cook the zucchini for too long, it will become mushy and the sauce will be soupy.
- Finish the last minute or so with the freshly cut basil leaves. I usually cut them into strips or tear up by hand.
- Serve with grated cheese and/or red pepper flakes for toppings. Enjoy!
2 hot Italian pork sausages, casings removed
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup ricotta cheese
- Over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up into smaller bits. (There is always the option to make this with ground pork rather than sausage.)
- Once mostly cooked through, season the meat lightly with salt and pepper, add the tomato sauce and heavy whipping cream.
- Let simmer 2-3 minutes or until sauce begins to bubble slightly.
- Once the sauce bubbles and thickens a bit, lower the heat to medium and add the zoodles and ricotta.
- Stir to combine, then let simmer for 3-4 minutes. The ricotta should completely “melt” into the sauce and help to thicken it a bit more.
- Remove from the heat and serve!
1 ½ c. tomato sauce
For a how-to on the Food Snob’s Tomato Sauce, CLICK HERE. Then, follow the remaining steps.
- Bring about 1 ½ cups of tomato sauce to medium heat (don’t let it bubble much, you don’t want it to burn).
- Add the zoodles and let “stew” for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you notice the sauce beginning to become watery and the zucchini breaking down too much, remove from heat early.
- Once the zucchini has softened slightly, remove from heat. Serve!
I know–this one might seem a little weird, but at the suggestion of a friend I gave it a try and it is so, so good.
¼ c. heavy whipping cream
¼ c. shredded Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese (plus more for topping)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ Tbsp. olive oil
1 ½ Tbsp. butter
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper (plus more for topping)
¼ c. chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)
- Over medium-low heat, melt the butter in a large saucepan. Once melted, add heavy cream and raise heat to medium heat. The cream will start to bubble and thicken.
- Stir often to keep cream from sticking and reduce heat if it begins to look like it’s ‘boiling’.
- Add the cheese and stir vigorously to melt the cheese into the sauce.
- Add the zoodles immediately after the cheese has melted. Toss to coat using a spaghetti spoon and allow the zoodles to cook in the sauce for 4-5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat before the zucchini becomes too soft.
- Serve topped with parsley (optional), grated cheese and fresh cracked black pepper. Yum!
Until next time,
♥️ Food Snob