Zucchini Pasta

When I was in school, I was a master at stretching my food budget. Why would I want to spend hard-earned money on food when there was alcohol to be consumed? As a result, I learned to buy cheap things that I could make into substantial meals.

Example – ramen noodles and eggs. Crack an egg into a bowl of hot ramen and stir it around. Boom. now your sodium packed noodle delight has some protein and for some reason seems far more substantial.

There was also the classic egg noodles, butter, Parmesan cheese combo. Actually,  I still eat this.

And finally, a small jar of Heinz crushed tomatoes, an onion, and a box of pasta. (Do you see the pasta trend here? Can you believe my lazy ass gained 10 pounds??)

But yesterday, I came across a game changer. Something that was so so quick and easy, shockingly tasty, AND healthy. Had I known of this in college, the freshman 15 that came 2 years later may not have been…

Ladies and gentleman, allow me to introduce you to Zucchini Pasta (concept from this recipe in the New York Times). This is not pasta made with zucchini – the pasta IS the zucchini. Mind blown, right? You quickly saute ribbons of zucchini and top with sauce. The zucchini retains a bite to it and absorbs the flavors of the sauce resulting in a surprisingly un-zucchini-y dish. Allow me to walk you through the process…

Zucchini Pasta

Yields: 1 Serving

Difficulty: Stupid Easy

Ingredients:

  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini
  • salt
  • 1/3 cup pasta sauce of choice (I used Prego but if you’re feeling domestic, this recipe for Giada De Laurentiis’s pasta sauce  is outstanding)
  • Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet pan
  2. Peel the green skin off of a zucchini and discard.
  3. Using the peeler, continue to peel off strips of the zucchini flesh, all the way down until you get to the seeds – turn and repeat until you have a zucchini ‘core’.
  4. Take the zucchini ribbons and place into the hot oil. Sprinkle with salt.
  5. Stir around for 1-2 minutes until it begins to soften and turn a bit translucent. It really only takes like 2 minutes so be careful not to overcook.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the pasta sauce.
  7. Stir around to warm the sauce an coat the zucchini. Plate and top with cheese.

I’m not lying when I say this stuff is good. And yes, I made J try it – he ate the whole damn plate. If dude-man J likes it, you will too.

**Don’t know what to do with the leftover zucchini core?? Do what I did and saute it for a bit and feed it to your begging dogs. Zucchini for everybody!

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