Most years we have our own garden, but this year it just didn’t happen. We ended up going to Hawaii, then a wedding, and putting up a fence in the yard the month we should have prepped the garden, and before we knew it summer was here! Luckily we have awesome friends who love to share. My favorite garden go-to item is zucchini squash. I love zucchini because of its versatility, high-water content, and because it simply tastes great no matter how you prepare it!
(SIDE NOTE: The funny thing about a zucchini plant is that its leaves get so large and leafy, that they often hide the squash growing underneath them. If you’re not thorough, you’ll miss a squash, only to find it when it’s the size of your arm!)
Making noodles is a great way to use those extra-large zucchinis, and guess what? I can even fool my kids. These ‘noodles’ have a pasta texture and it’s a great way to get those veggies in! I prefer to use the large zucchini for a couple reasons. a) Because of their length, they can make great noodles, and b) because of their girth, you’ll get twice as many noodles out of each zucchini, but you can make noodles out of any size zucchini.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 Large Zucchini per serving
Vegetable peeler or Vegetable Spiralizer
Julienne hand tool
Paper Towel or Spinning Strainer
1 Jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
I cup of finely diced canned tomatoes
Peel the zucchini. (you don’t have to but the skin makes tougher noodles)
Form the noodles. Using a Julienne hand tool, drag it across the freshly-peeled zucchini to form the noodles. Peel on each side until you reach the seeds. Or you can make them with a vegetable spiralizer, both get the job done.
Absorb excess water. This is important! Because zucchini are so high in water content, you want to remove some of the excess water so your pasta isn’t so watery. There are a couple ways to do this.
PAPER TOWEL DRY. Lay the noodles on the paper towel to absorb the excess water from the zucchini noodles for about 30 minutes, then place another paper towel on top once you’ve finished making the noodles and press down lightly.
SPIN-STRAIN. If you prefer to spin-strain your noodles, you can simply place the noodles in the strainer basket until you’re all done making the noodles. Then place the lid on top of the spin-strainer, and spin away. You’ll see the excess water begin to collect at the bottom. Spin for about 30 seconds to ensure best results.
Sauté the noodles. I used a deep cast-iron skillet on medium heat with a little butter. Add in your noodles, and saute until soft and translucent.
Dress them up. You can add butter, sauce, cream, whatever you like. I used pasta sauce (we had a great deal this week) and a cup of diced tomatoes.
Serve and enjoy!
Need more inspiration? Check out my other Deals to Meals!