I was recently introduced to a spiralizer. It has the ability to take zucchini on a journey from meh to masterpiece! It is absolutely fascinating to watch a vegetable turn, and the beautiful spirals come out the other side. See what I mean? Look at how pretty they are. I have seen reports of how many calories can be saved with this low carb version of pasta. But come on, who wants to substitute pasta? Not this carb-loving, cookie-eating, love-my-fettuccini-alfredo girl. I wouldn’t hear of it- until I tried it. I actually realized that I love the fresh, crisp taste of these delightful zoodles (I keep having to tell the auto correct that I genuinely mean zoodle and not noodle, sigh).
I don’t think that zucchini can truly replace all manner of pasta. The Italians had something going for them. I don’t even classify this as a pasta replacement. For me, it is merely another vegetable dish to add to the wholesome dinner rotation. It just happens to contain a jar of marinara sauce.
First, you will want to prepare the zucchini zoodle. This seems like a lot of zoodle, but it will cook down once it is sautéed.
The next step will be to chop your desired vegetables. For the purposes of this photo shoot, I have chopped sweet peppers. But in the past, I have included onion and mushrooms, which are my favorite but not my family’s favorite- they pick them out and pass them to me, yay!
Next slice your sausage. In this picture, you can see my oldest daughter Rachel’s hands. In the pepper pic above, Marin, my youngest, was the graceful hand model. During my photo shoot today, the girls were rolling their eyes and taking turns of who would have to come and help mom capture this alluring and captivating scene. Apparently, my children didn’t think it was so mesmerizing.
To cook, begin by sautéing the sausage until golden brown (or cooked more if you like it slightly crispy), then drain. Add vegetables and cook until tender. Add a jar of marinara to your pan and season with red pepper flakes and salt and pepper.
Feel free to season to your taste buds. Your buds may like it particularly spicy. If so, this bud’s for you. Zest choices are endless.
While the sauce is heating up, during the last 5 minutes, sauté the zoodles in their own pan. This step only takes 3-5 minutes depending on how crispy you like your zoodle.
Don’t forget to drain the zoodles. Zucchini can release a bit of moisture when it is cooked, and that can make your marinara a bit runny towards the end of the meal.
Enjoy your colorful plate of veggie goodness. (In case you are wondering, those are my arms).
Child-friendly tip: when I make this for dinner, I will make regular pasta for the kids and zoodles for the adults (and double the recipe for 4 people). Because I am not a short order cook, they are lucky to get pasta a-la-carte out of me. This way I don’t have complete anarchy on my hands when it is dinner time. The children’s vegetables can be concealed in a heavy sauce, so they don’t see how many veggies they are actually consuming. They might become allergic to them if they knew the real secret. But then again, I have been known to sneak in some kale and spinach- organic to boot- into their spaghetti sauce. Who knew? I suppose they do now if they read this post!