Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Vegetable Ninja: homemade zucchini "pasta"

Vegetable Ninja: homemade zucchini "pasta"
Zucchini "pasta" topped with turkey meatballs and sauce

Prepare yourself for some real kitchen ninja action; we are about to turn zucchini into PASTA! This is a great way to satisfy your Italian taste buds without boiling water or going overboard with your carbohydrate intake. And if you're lucky enough to live near a zucchini plant? Here is a great new recipe beyond the usual zucchini bread.

There are a couple of ways to be a zucchini ninja; you can use your chefs knife to cut your zucchini into long planks and then cut those planks into thin strips; you get a rustic homemade zucchini pasta. You can take it up a notch using a julienne peeler; they're available at bit box stores and online for about ten bucks. If you really want to take it up a notch, you can also use a mandoline slicer if it has the julienne blade.

Once you have your zucchini in pasta-like shapes, all you have to do is sprinkle a bit of salt on top and let it sit for a few minutes. The salt will help draw out excess water creating an al dente pasta. This can be served hot or cold!

1. Trim ends from zucchini
2. Julienne zucchini using knife, peeler or mandoline
3. Place "pasta" in bowl and lightly salt; wait 10-20 minutes or until zucchini is softened
4. Quickly rinse "pasta" under running water and then squeeze to remove extra moisture

Your pasta is ready! You can quickly saute in a pan with sauce, serve cold or nuke in the microwave. I made turkey meatballs in marinara sauce on the stove and warmed the "pasta" in the microwave.

*Note: my taste testers were my two roommates; they both thought that this zucchini was mixed with real pasta; the zucchini is that close to the real deal! Try it!

*If you're trying to trick reluctant kids or a picky spouse, you could first peel the zucchini to remove the green color

Two small zucchini was enough for my dinner
Using the julienne peeler

Freshly julienned and salted

Salt drawing out water

Zucchini "pasta" topped with turkey meatballs and sauce

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