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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Zucchini "Pasta"


So, it's been a while! Georgeanne and I are both in positions that have been making it difficult to post. She's staying at her sister's in Edinburgh (and eventually moving back here), and I have a lovely combination of final exams and a computer that keeps randomly shutting itself off. I have a ton of stuff saved up that I'd like to post, but I'll start with something really simple and easy to make.

Pretty much everybody loves pasta smothered in tomato sauce, but I stop craving the heaviness and carby-ness of pasta dishes as the temperatures get higher. Zucchini pasta was something that I assumed you needed some kind of fancy machine for or impeccable knifing skills, but I was wrong. Apparently, all you need is a couple of good zucchinis and a sturdy vegetable peeler.

This is less of a recipe and more of a set of instructions which I learned over at Summer Tomato. You need about 1 large zucchini per person (and the ones I grabbed were LARGE) and your favorite sauce recipe. Make this even easier with your favorite jarred sauce and cut the effort in half.

Lay one zucchini flat onto a cutting board and steadily glide your peeler from one end of the squash to the other. For large flat "noodles", rotate the zucchini and and run the peeler in a similar manner. For skinnier noodles, run the peeler over the edges you create as you rotate. My "Y" peeler made this task really simple. Deposit your noodles on a plate or in a bowl as you go so that you don't crowd your workspace. Stop peeling once you get to the seedy core. In the beautiful instructional video over at summer tomato, the author explains that the seedy part at the middle makes very squishy pasta, so it's best to reserve them for some other use. I ended up with cores that look like giant snail eyestalks.

Sprinkle some salt over your noodles. Coat a large, flat pan with oil and heat to medium. Quickly sauté the noodles until hot, then remove them from the heat to prevent them from getting too floppy. Top them with your favorite sauce. I thought that these noodles might make a really nice shrimp scampi since I LOVE the combination of shrimp and zucchini. However, I just got Keith to try actual shrimp scampi for the first time since he has some kind of aversion to seafood and pasta together (he liked it), so I might have to take it slow. The instructions at Summer Tomato also have a lovely recipe for a quick tomato sauce using a combination of canned and fresh chopped tomatoes.

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