08 Sep

Zucchini Pasta With Tomato & Basil

And, I’m back!

After a long blogging hiatus, I am back to buckling down, testing some amazing recipes and hitting the keys to tell you about it. To bring the blog back with a bang, I have a recipe using my favorite new tool – my julienne peeler.

While the calendars have hit September, I am still holding onto summer by eating its fresh seasonal produce. The farmer’s markets have been full of delicious zucchini this summer.
Clients often ask for ways to reduce their carbohydrate intake without having to give up their beloved pasta. And, parents always ask for ways to get their kids to eat more veggies in creative ways. Well, zucchini pasta is the answer. It is the perfect grain-free dish.
I am not the biggest fan of the highly processed pasta alternatives (the types that come in boxes), but homemade zucchini pasta is a perfect substitute. Zucchini has a high water content making it low in calories and carbs. Typically I recommend keeping the pasta portions to 1/3 cup, but you can have up to 1 cup of zucchini pasta.
The recipe involves a julienne peeler, a small kitchen investment under $10. There is some manual labor involved in shredding the zukes into pasta, but it is worth it! It is a great dish to make at the beginning of the week and store in the fridge for leftovers. C’mon, who doesn’t love leftovers?
Zucchini pasta 2
Zucchini pasta 3
Zucchini pasta1
Serves: 4
Ingredients:
6 zucchinis
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
Lemon zest from ½ lemon
10 basil leaves, finely chopped or chiffonade
Black pepper to taste
Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Dry cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions:
1.Pass a julienne peeler or mandolin over the side of the unpeeled zucchini lengthwise to produce long ribbons or pasta-like strings. When you approach the seeds, turn zucchini and slice another side. You may need to discard the seeded center, as it does not slice well. Dry zucchini strings well with a paper towel.
2.Heat large sauté pan, pour in olive oil, garlic, shallot and salt, and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently.
3.Add zucchini and tomatoes into the pan and cook for another 4 minutes, lightly mixing the olive oil and garlic mixture with the zucchini and tomatoes. Add lemon zest and cook for additional 1 minute. Remove pan from heat.
4.Once pan is removed from the heat, mix in basil leaves, stirring gently.
5.Add black pepper to taste, crushed red pepper flakes (optional for a kick) and cheddar cheese.

*For children who are less adventurous eaters replace the basil, tomato and olive oil sauce for traditional marinara or tomato sauce and/or melted mozzarella cheese.