Zucchini Noodles

Posted on: April 11, 2014 Written by
Zucchini Noodles
    Photography by: Debbie Peck      

Ingredients

  • Zucchini, 12-16 oz./300-450 g per person
  • Topping of your choice: Parmesan and butter, pesto, or tomato sauce

 

Instructions

  1. Cut the ends off of zucchini. If they are wider than your vegetable peeler, cut them in half. If they are really, really huge, cut the edges into strips and discard the seeds.
  2. Peel the zucchini into thin strips.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil; add salt. Cook the zucchini “noodles” for only 1-2 minutes. Drain and serve with a sauce of your choice.

 

Step-by-step instructions

Just when I thought I knew every conceivable way known to man to fix zucchini…I heard about Zucchini Noodles! Who thinks of these things? I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical…but decided to try them. And guess what? I liked them!  My husband liked them! Even my Italian neighbors liked them!

So if you’re trying to cut back on carbs, or you have an abundance of zucchini in your garden, or you just want to try something novel and new… try these Zucchini Noodles!

Let’s start with the zucchini…they really cook “down” when they’re boiled “up” so I found I needed to use about two of this size per person (12-16 oz./300-450 g per person).

Smaller is better when it comes to using zucchini to make noodles. I like the ones that are as thin as my vegetable peeler. If you have a larger zucchini, cut it in half and just peel it into noodles that way.

If you have found a whopper hiding under leaves in your garden, you’ll want to cut the edges into strips, and discard the seeds. I realize that’s hard for some of you…to throw away “perfectly good food”, especially when children are starving in other parts of the world. But I can assure you that you can’t make zucchini noodles with large zucchini seeds. Perhaps you can find a new use for the seeds…and write and tell me about it.

Have fun with making these “noodles”…this is not a dish that requires perfection. I found the vegetable peeler kept the thickness of my noodles pretty consistent, even if they weren’t all perfectly shaped. Uniform-size is good…but only in a perfect world is that going to happen! And in case you haven’t noticed, we’re not living in a perfect world. So enjoy the process.

I experimented with cutting some of them almost all the way through…

…this allowed me to peel off narrower noodles, two at a time, which looked a bit like fettuccine.

Once I’d peeled down about halfway, I found it easier to place the zucchini on a cutting board…

…I held the end down and peeled a few noodles one direction, then turned it around and peeled the other direction. I did that to try to keep it even…but no matter what I did, I found that when I got down to the end, I was left with a piece too thick to throw in with the other noodles but not thick enough to peel. That went into my soup…but that’s for another blog.

Meanwhile I brought a large pot of water to a boil, added a couple tablespoons of salt…and tossed in handfuls of the “noodles”.

You’ll want to work quickly here to get them all in at the same time…so you may want to just dump the noodles right into the boiling, salted water.

I only left the zucchini in the water for 1-2 minutes. Don’t leave them longer than that or they’ll be mushy. We’re going for al dente zucchini noodles here. (If you’re not familiar with that term, it literally means “to the tooth” and refers to the way Italians prefer their pasta…not mushy but not too firm either…done but not overdone.)

We’ve enjoyed zucchini noodles with several different sauces. And I’ve read 101 other ideas on the Internet! Some called for heavy cream and lots of Parmesan…sort of defeats the purpose, in my book, for eating healthy noodles. We like them with pesto (as pictured at the top of the blog), a little butter and Parmesan, or a simple tomato sauce.

If you can believe it, my Italian neighbors downstairs, whom I’ve mentioned several times in my blog, do not eat pasta. (That’s why they’re trim and fit, I guess.) I enjoyed serving them these healthy zucchini noodles…and they loved them! Even wanted to know how to make them! Great fun introducing Italians to some of “our” foods!

For additional recipes, please visit: http://ciaofromdebbie.com

©2014 Thrive.



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  • I’m so glad to read of someone else doing this! When I “went off” wheat a few months back, I landed on zucchini as a pasta replacement. Turns out my daughter and husband like it, too! I’ve only peeled it like this a time or two — takes a lot of time. Much of the time, I simply slice it into thin strips, then fry in with some grated carrot and seasoning (I like Provencal) in butter. Then put spaghetti sauce over it. Yum!