Saturday, March 31, 2012

Zucchini Pasta

This recipe is my variation of one I had gotten from my friend Kristi, one of many delicious recipes I might add!  It was last summer when everyones zucchini plants were going insane in their gardens, what perfect timing!
I find myself saying a recipe is a huge success when everyone is eating what I cook rather than making themselves a peanut butter sandwich or a bowl of cereal.  Yes.  You heard me right.  If the wee ones don't like what is served, they make their own dinner.  Since they are not big enough to use the stove,  those are the only options for them to do independently.  It happens, but not often.  This recipe is a rather large success for sure and they love the leftovers for school lunches!

Here's what you need:

  • 2 1/2 pounds of zucchini and yellow squash (or all of one)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (I always have a vidalia or a sweet onion)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 2 tsp 21 Season Salute (Trader Joes is the place to get this)
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (it really depends on how spicy you like it)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, julienned
  • 1 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 12-15 leaves Basil, chopped
  • Parsley, 3 Tblsp chopped
  • Lemon, zest and juice
  • 8 oz long pasta (I use 4 oz of whole wheat pasta and 4 oz of white)
While you are getting the rest of the ingredients together throw a large pot of water on the stove to start boiling.  It's a time saver for sure.
Now get to work on that zucchini/squash, or both.  What you are looking for here is to peel the squash until you start hitting the seed core.  No need for those seeds in this recipe.  I make a lengthwise peel, then rotate it a bit...repeat.  You will wind up with a big old pile of zucchini/squash "pasta" in no time.  Ignore the pink in the background...I think it's a bag of romaine hearts.  Whatever.  

Chop your garlic and slice your onions thinly.  I don't think I should even have to consider them to be actual ingredients...they should be treated like olive oil, salt and pepper as far as I'm concerned, just a given.  You know you need them in the recipe to make everything taste good so just automatically add them to everything...unless you're baking.  That would just be nasty.

Once the water starts to boil add in your pasta.  While it's cooking you can get the rest of the dish cooked.  It's that quick.  Just make sure you have everything else ready before you drop those noodles in the water.

So the best pan I find to use to cook all the vegetables up in is my wok.  A few tablespoons of olive oil in there should work just fine.  Once that's nice and hot add in the onions for a few minutes before adding in the garlic.  Prepare about a minute thirty seconds the house is going to smell amazing.  

Add in the 21 Season Salute, red pepper flakes, and sun dried tomatoes to the mix.  If you don't have a Trader Joe's near you to get this seasoning, first, I would like to extend my condolences, second, try some Italian Seasoning you can get anywhere, it won't be as good but it will do.  Seriously, I may need a moment of silence for anyone who doesn't have a TJ close by.  Sigh.
Grate your cheese while this magic is going on.  There isn't much better in my opinion than freshly grated Parmesan.  

OK.  Now add in the zucchini/squash "pasta".  

This will not take long since they are so thinly sliced. 
Mix it all up in the wok so that nothing burns on the bottom.  In about three minutes you will be close to eating.  At this point I am telling the wee ones to get the table set for dinner.  You want it ready so that when this dish is done you can just sit and stuff your face.  
Before you drain your pasta, keep a cup of pasta water aside to help with the sauce.  I put the pasta back in it's pot and then add in the wok goodies, a few more tablespoons of olive oil, the basil and parsley.   Don't forget to zest your lemon and then juice the whole thing in.  Zesting a lemon that has already been juiced isn't easy, trust me.  The husband insists that he hates zest but I put it in a ton of dishes (of course I don't tell him this!) and he loves it.  Men.  
See where you are at and add about 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta liquid, if you think you need a bit it.  I never need the whole cup.
Put this pot of heaven in a large serving bowl and then make it rain with parmesan, about 3/4 cup.  The rest I reserve for the table.
I usually serve this with a simple salad of romaine (Remember?  It was on the counter in the background?) with basil and parsley, some tomatoes and cucumbers or whatever veg is in the fridge and a vinaigrette.  French or Italian bread...either works just fine for me.

Bon's time to eat!


  1. Found you from Foodie Friends Friday's latest party! I am always looking for zucchini recipe in the summer, and this one is a winner! Thanks for posting!!

    1. Lindsey thanks for all of the wonderfully kind comments!

  2. Oh this looks awesome! We are getting a lot of Zucchini from our garden so I a going to try this recipe this week! Thanks.

    1. Alicia, I hope you love it! I am sad that the end of our season for zucchini is seems to have come and gone too quickly for me!