Not-Pasta Pasta

So it’s like, almost the end of summer already! I’ve been blogging for over a year now! But honestly, the heat has just made us not hungry and made me feel like doing the  opposite of cooking. That would be…not cooking.

But in case you’re looking for one last way to use up your summer zucchinis, I’ve got the solution, and it’s all thanks to my snazzy new food processor which can grate things into long pretty strips.

As you may remember, Alex and I have become enthusiastic Crossfitters. Though we don’t totally subscribe to the Paleo or zone diets that are popular among some people who do Crossfit, we do pay attention to what we eat. Since we’ve been working out a lot, we try to eat more protein-type stuff (meat, eggs, etc.) than grain-type stuff (bread), but we certainly don’t deny ourselves anything if we want it. Read more about our “everything in moderation” philosophy here

And while some of the meals I’ve prepared for us have been “accidentally” paleo, recently I went out of my way to create a paleo entree for our dinner meal. Alex was the dictionary definition of skeptical when I told him what I was preparing. And not because he doubted whether it actually qualified as “paleo.”

What’s that?!? Pasta?!? you say. That’s not paleo!

Look more closely, young grasshopper. Those aren’t noodles. It’s actually zucchini, shredded very beautifully to mimic pasta. Tossed together with some sausage and onion and a bit of tomato sauce.

It’s brilliant, really. Who wants to load up on heavy pastas in the summertime, anyway? Talk about a lazy, hazy, crazy summer. I’ll save those dishes for colder weather, thank you. By this point in the summer, you’ve probably got zucchini coming out of your ears! Are you sick of it yet? Try it as pasta and I’m sure you’ll forgive this prolific plant. Especially you pasta lovers out there. I’m only sad I didn’t try this sooner.

Easy “Paleo” Zucchini Pasta
Yum Factor: Alex – 8.5, Jessalyn – 9

– 3 sausages, casings removed (or about 1/2 pound sausage meat; or you could use ground beef or turkey)
– 1 small red onion, small dice
– tomato sauce (your own, or your favorite healthy commercial brand)
– splash of white wine for cleaning the pan
– 1 large zucchini, shredded lengthwise into long, thin strips (use food processor grater or mandoline slicer)

1. Cook the sausages and onions in a bit of oil. Meanwhile, heat up your tomato sauce in a small pot on low.

2. Remove the sausage and onion to a bowl line with paper towel to drain off some of the fat. Add the wine to the pan to deglaze and let it reduce down on the heat.

3. Add your shredded zucchini to the pan with a dash of salt and pepper. Toss gently to warm through.

4. Add the tomato sauce and the sausage/onion mixture. Toss gently. Serve warm.

Alex loved it. In all honesty, if I hadn’t told him what it was, and if I had peeled the dark green skin off the zucchini before shredding it, he wouldn’t have known it wasn’t traditional pasta! But if you’re skeptical, try mixing zucchini pasta into some regular pasta, like I did for this summer shrimp scampi:

Have you ever transformed a pasta dish to better suit your needs? How did you do it? Or maybe you think pasta is one of those “it’s beautiful as it is so don’t mess with it” kinds of things? Do tell.

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