Zucchini Spaghetti Aglio e Olio


Zucchini Spaghetti Aglio e Olio

Continuing from yesterday’s “less carb-y” recipe theme, here is another recently discovered favorite: zucchini noodles!

Zucchini noodles can be made a number of ways.  In the beginning, I would julienne the zucchini into long strips all by hand.  It took me a year to discover there were actual kitchen gadgets designed to make life easier and I haven’t looked back since.

Enter: the spiralizer.  A simple hand held one will set you back about $15 and it’s totally worth it.  You can get fancier ones with a hand crank, but I really don’t mind the forearm workout.  The spiralizer will also work on harder vegetables like butternut squash or sweet potatoes so you can try out some other unique noodles or salads.

hand held spiralizer

I have used zucchini noodles as a pasta substitute in bolognese but I wasn’t crazy about the results.  I found the dense meaty tomato sauce was too heavy to the fragile veggie noodles and just was not texturally balanced.

zucchini noodles bolognese

The solution was to go much lighter and I found the answer in this deliciously simple Zucchini Noodles Aglio and Olio recipe by Kari of getinspiredeveryday.com.  The noodles are sautéed with olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and sea salt and then topped with a cooked egg to add some protein.  I also threw in some sliced crimini mushrooms for more “meatiness.”  The whole meal takes no more than 15 minutes to prepare and the results are light, spicy, healthy and hearty!

Zucchini Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (recipe adapted from getinspiredeveryday.com)

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium zucchini (can also mix up the colors with some yellow squash)
  • 1 C crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 T red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Optional: 2 eggs, cooked over-easy / poached / or however you like
  • Optional: freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Trim the ends of the zucchini to create a nice flat surface.  Spiralize the zucchini, or use a julienne peeler to make the noodles.

julienned zucchini noodles

Heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, sea salt, black pepper and mushrooms.  Cook until the liquid released from the mushrooms has evaporated.

sauté the mushrooms with garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper

Add the zucchini noodles to the pan and sauté until tender, about 3-5 minutes.

Sauté the zucchini noodles

Serve immediately with the garnishes of your choice.

* Pardon the egg in the photo… I attempted to poach an egg in a microwave.  Not quite aesthetically pleasing but certainly delicious!

zucchini aglio e olio topped with a poached egg

 

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