Zucchini Spaghetti (Zoodles) with Marinara Sauce
August 1, 2014
Every time I use the spiralizer I feel like a hero.
Same happens when I use the flashlight function on my smartphone, when I do handstand push-ups against the wall, or when I run into the subway as the doors are about to close.
But the spiralizer...the spiralizer is like the Superman’s cape in kitchen gadget form.
The first time I’ve tried it, I was blown away by how easy it is to use. I became hypnotized by the curly noodles spirals of veggies that came out.
I ransacked the fridge and spiralized just about everything that was large enough to fit onto the mechanism - big carrots, zucchini, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, parsnips, and of course my fingers (friendly reminder: it’s important to use a spiralizer safely...these things are SHARP!)
Creating noodles with raw vegetables has to be one of the coolest thing ever and yet, I haven’t posted a single recipe that calls for the use of a spiralizer on TIY.
Frankly because I thought that the spiralizer was a fairly uncommon kitchen gadget. Like the jalapeno corer, the corn kerneler or the bear paw meat handler forks (seriously, who owns those things?)
That was until I went to a kitchenware store in Amsterdam (as usual, I was looking for photography props) to found that they sold not one, not two, but three different types of spiralizer.
Apparently it’s a much more popular kitchen gadget than I originally thought.
I bought one for my sis — just like the one I have at home. It’s pretty cheap (about $15) and can be easily stored in a kitchen drawer (you can find it on Amazon).
Of course there are fancier ones, such as the Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer.
A regular mandoline can get the job done too, and so does a julienne peeler.
If you really want to, you could chop everything by hand the old fashioned way. Grab a sharp knife and some veggies and start cutting them lengthwise into tiny noodle-sized strips using a grid-like method. I must warn you though, this may take a really long time and will result in consistent widths.
But if you’re serious about spiralizing veggies, do invest $15 into a spiralizer. Money. Well. Spent.
Various blades allow you to cut long, thin, spaghetti-like noodles or windy thin strips. It can be used to make some really pretty salad fixings too.
Zucchini spaghetti (aka zoodles) are one of the more popular veggie pasta recipes, because it produces such good results. I make it all the time.
Just to be clear, when I talk about zucchini pasta, I mean raw zucchini that has been sliced to look and act like spaghetti. I’m not mimicking a bowl of wheat pasta but I rather create a fresh, creative, and fun vegetable dish that is not just another salad.
It’s also a great way to enjoy your fave pasta sauces in a new way.
The first time you try zucchini pasta, I strongly suggest you serve it with a good-tasting sauce.
Keep the vegan alfredo, raw beet marinara or avocado-cucumber sauces for the days when you’ll be a hardcore spiralizer.
A toothsome marinara sauce is a good place to start.
In my opinion, homemade marinara is almost as fast and tastes immeasurably better than even the best supermarket sauce — and it's made with basic pantry ingredients.
It goes really great with zucchini spaghetti. Even the little ones (i.e., my nieces) enjoy this dish quite a bit.
Print this recipe!
Note. To make the marinara use a skillet instead of the usual saucepan: the water evaporates quickly, so the tomatoes are just cooked through as the sauce becomes thick.
1 (28 oz / 800 gr) can whole peeled tomatoes (I used Muir Glen)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves,
1 small dried whole chile, or pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 large fresh basil sprig
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Using a spiralizer or peeler create zucchini spaghetti (always read the directions for your spiral slicer as they vary by brand.) If you don't have a spiralizer use a regular vegetable peeler to vertically peel long, thin strips of the zucchini. This will form more of a wider "noodle" from the zucchini, like fettuccini.
Transfer zucchini spaghetti to a large bowl and set aside.
Pour tomatoes (including the juice) into a large bowl and crush with your hands.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add garlic. As soon as garlic is sizzling (do not let it brown), add the tomatoes with the juice, whole chile or red pepper flakes (if using) and salt. Stir.
Place basil sprig, including stem, on the surface (like a flower). Let it wilt, then submerge in sauce.
Simmer sauce until thickened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Discard basil and chile (if using). Taste and adjust seasoning.
Add zucchini spaghetti to to skillet and toss. Cook for a few minutes, until all is heated through.
One serving yields 229 calories, 15 grams of fat, 21 grams of carbs and 7 grams of protein.