Tasty and mostly simple food for the whole family.

Tasty, healthy, simple, verstile, practical, seasonal, fun food for all to enjoy. I will endeavour to make things gluten-free, dairy-free (cow's milk only here, I'm not super-human), and low sugar as able. I hope others feel motivated to add their recipes to this collection so we can all try them. Thank you!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Zucchini Pasta (Linguini or Gluten-Free Brown Rice Spaghetti)

I would have to describe this as freakishly delicious.  I have yet to make it with actual linguini, but can only imagine it will be even better.  We are still getting outrageous amounts of fresh zucchini from our garden, so I get to be creative with how much and how often we incorporate it into our every meal.  I originally found this recipe in Parenting Magazine while enjoying some quality reading at the gym.  Few things are more fun than thinking of cooking while working out, unless you are one of my patients and you get to talk about food during your entire treatment.  Anyway, the first time I made this, I couldn't believe how amazingly delicious it was while being gluten-free.  Very easy to make and quick, too.  At first Mia asked "mom get the salad out of the noodles?", but now she asks for "more zuke". 

Makes enough for 2-3 bigs and one little with none left over for lunch.   I can only assume the original printing suggesting that this would serve 8-10 was for hamsters or something, especially since I almost doubled the noodles in this version.

12 oz pasta (linguini or other gluten-free long noodle- I used Trader Joe's Brown Rice Spaghetti)
2 medium zucchini or one large fresh garden zuke
2T olive oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1-1 1/2 c grated pecorino cheese
1/2 t salt plus more for pasta water


1.  Bring large pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to directions.  Reserve 1/2c pasta water out just before draining.
2.  Meanwhile, use mandoline (in our house, that is called a vegetable peeler.... maybe one day) and shave the zucchini into long ribbons.  It may be helpful to cut them length-wise into ~1/2" slices and make your peelings from there.  I tend to have some left-over ends that I cant shave and I just julienne them.
3.  Toss the zucchini in a bowl with the 1/2t salt and set aside. 
4.  Heat olive oil in large skillet (non-stick helps). Add in garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly golden- about 1 minute.  Add zucchini and cook about 4 minutes, tossing continuously (tongs are very helpful here).
5.  Transfer to large bowl and toss together the pasta, zucchini and pecorino.  Adjust the pasta and such as needed with the reserved pasta water in 1-2T increments (should not be saucy, per se, but have a very creamy quality).  Salt and pepper to taste.

Note:  in this house, we minimize all superfluous dish-washing, so unless I am trying to impress someone, I just toss the pasta back into the pan with the sauteed zucchini, add the cheese while tossing, then add S & P and any additional pasta water as needed to loosen the dish.  I'd like to think that this way you get to preserve all of the delicious liquid that the zucchini throws off in the cooking process without losing it in the bowl transfer.  Truly, I haven't even tried it.  Also, consider adding some halved cherry or pear tomatoes step 5 as in the original recipe.  I don't care for hot tomatoes so I haven't done it yet.

Zucchini in the bowl with salt
Zucchini ready to toss with the goods- just barely wilted.

Ready for the plates and garnish pec!