Its great that I got a cold this week. It gave me a weeks worth of days at home to experiment with zoodle (zucchini made into noodles) technique.
Thank goodness for the simple things! Blessings in disguise!
Growing up with homemade pasta blanketed over sheets lining every imaginable surface of the kitchen to dry, grandmas hand-cranked pasta maker still in my closet, its somewhat against my heritage to call anything but a noodle a noodle.
That said, if you are in the celiac, Paleo, SCD, gluten or grain free set (like me!) for whatever reason, zoodles emerge as the great hope for a plate of pasta made manifest. And if you practice and get the hang of the technique, you’ll be year-round zoodling like me!
Zoodles are an art form. The first part of this post is all about mastering your own zoodle craft. The topping of pomodoro richness that’s pure farm-to-table simplicity takes only a few minutes to prepare before it simmers and just about no skill to accomplish!
For your zoodles:
I finally went and bought myself a simple spiralizer. You can find many brands online and in home store around the world. I don’t want to 100% endore mine as it’s good… but not awesome. I think I will upgrade after a few seasons of zoodling. But for now, it does the trick.
If you don’t have a spiralizer: you can use a julienne slicer to slice noodles the length of a zucchini. You can also use a veggie peeler to make wide, flat noodles in a pinch today!
To zoodle: take a washed organic zucchni and, using your tool of choice, slice it into zoodles. I like them on the thicker rather than angel-air fine side. They hold up much better and have more of a “real” feeling to them in comparison to pasta.
Put your zoodles in a collander and sprinkle about 1/2 tsp sea salt per zucchini on the sliced zoodles. I leave them for about 15 minutes tossed and salted. When you come backm they will have “sweat” out a lot of water.
Use a clean tea towel/ dish cloth to gently blot off the zoodles, tossing them and blotting to get lots of the excess water out. This is important. You don’t want to skip it! My gradma taught me to do this for zucchini as well as eggplant. It makes a HUGE difference in the end product.
In a skillet heat up a few tbs of olive oil (these are good in loads of oil) and, once its hot on medium heat, add a clove of chopped fresh garlic. Let that sautee for a minute or two to almost brown.
Now is when you work fast!
Toss in your zoodles, and using a big fork (or salad tongs, my favorite) toss the zoodles around in the oil on medium heat for less than two minutes. There’s a breaking point between raw zoodles and wilted soggy zoodles. Yu want to yank them from the pan and onto a serving plate before the wilt and sog comes.
* NOTE: If I am not using sauce, I tend to add crushed chili flakes to the garlic and oil before adding the zoodles. You won’t need to salt this again.
For the Pomodoro sauce:
If you are doing a sauce for zoodles, due to the time pressure to get things un-wilted, you want to have the sauce ready BEFORE the zoodles are in the pan. A simple pomodoro is brilliant, year-round bright and yet hearty.
To a skilled-bottom coated with olive oil add several handfulls of sliced organic cherry tomatoes (Or one large ripe tomato diced) and cook this on low for about 8 minutes staying closely. I slow cook the tomatoes in this way to get the best flavor in a simple preparation. Between 8-10 minuyes in, add a tsp of dried crushed basil and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. I let these go on low for another 10 minutes or so, covered, barely simmering on the stove. Before I turn off the heat, I add 1/2 tsp anchovy paste OR 1/2 of an anchovy. You can skip this step, but it really adds depth! Alternatively, you can add a small handfull of ripe black olives for richness.
Have this covered on standby. This serves one.. .but you can easily multiply the sauce and add zucchini to the zoodle recipie to make it for a whole family. I do suggest sautee of no more than two zucchini at a time, until you master the timing!
It’s so much fun… and wildly addictive! Enjoy! xoxo Dana
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