Currently my garden is pumping out Zucchini and Pickling Cucumbers out the Wazoo. Needless to say, I love zucchini, but one must get creative. That is where this spectacular dish comes in.
No, not pasta with zucchini, but the zucchini makes that pasta itself. This was incredibly easy, adaptable, AND healthy too! Even better, it is impressive. It seems like a top of work (our secret) and looks and tastes like an upscale restaurant. Serve it any day of the week, or at a dinner party to impress, with a nice garden fresh salad. Delightful, divine, and delicious!
All you need is a few squash, a colander, a veggie-peeler, and whatever you would normally put on pasta (although so far I tried it with a tomato sauce, and the flavors complemented each-other to a tee!) I would also like to add that of those in my family that had it for dinner, it got raving reviews. Even the skeptics came for seconds.
I got the basic technique from Allrecipes, but improved on it. (I just added the like to put credit where credit is due)
Although this can be made like any noodle-pasta preparation, My recipe below will call for what I added. Use whatever is in your fridge. All of the pickled ingredients come from my Refrigerator Pickles (check out the post, they really made this version pop! and are so easy, I promise it doesn't taste weird!)
Here we go!
Recipe: Serves 3-4
40 min total (10 minutes active time)
- 4-5 garden fresh Zucchini (If serving with salad 1 to 1 1/4 squash per person)
- A few pickled haricot-vert (or other additional veggies slice. ex: mushrooms, asparagus, green beans, ... whatever you think would be good with your sauce)
- 3-4 cloves Pickled garlic (or fresh garlic)
- a splash of Pickling liquid (or water, or stock)
|Pasta before adding tomato sauce.|
- Making the noodles: Wash and dry zucchini. Slice of ends. Use a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons (end to end) they don't need to be perfect. If the squash gets too seedy and there is no "squash" bordering the seeds on your ribbons towards the center, just add those slices to your salad!
- Drain Noodles: Sprinkle with salt, add to colander, rotate/lightly toss, add a little more salt and rotate again. We are salting to get the squash to sweat. Most should wash off when boiling the noodles, so don't worry (not to say go salt crazy though! Just don't get over-salting preoccupied). Set in sink for 30 min to drain (or slightly longer if you need to/forget, just at least 30 minutes).
- Boiling noodles: Boil a large pot of water (same as if making regular pasta). Add noodles gently by handful (don't plot them in and plash water everywhere please!). Gently stir and cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
- Flavoring your creation: Slice and add the garlic and pickles (or desired vegetables) to a saute pan over med-high heat. Stir until heated, keeping the garlic from sticking. Add in drained noodles. Wet with a splash (2-4 tablespoons-ish) of pickling liquid or other liquid. Stir to separate pasta and incorporate the garlic and beans. Cook until most of liquid has been evaporated (3-4 minutes). Add a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce and stir to heat. Pull the pan off the heat, and serve it up with a side salad and a pinch of Parmesan Cheese.
While I implore you to try this version if you have the ingredients on hand. If you don't adapt it! :
Use other veggies, leave them out entirely, make your own rough tomato sauce, toss in a touch of olive oil and Parmesan and capers, add a cheese/cream sauce, a puree of another garden veggie as a sauce, ... the possibilities are endless
Treat it exactly like you would regular pasta and have healthy, delicious fun!!!!
Also if you use tomato sauce, it IS worth it to branch out and get a fancy, good tomato sauce. Save the Prego for another day and try something like: Mezzetta Artichoke Parmesan Marinara. Not only is it delicious, it is healthy and low in fat and calories. It's my family's new favorite!