Zoodles… First off, what are they? If you haven’t heard of them yet, they’re just zucchini in the shape of noodles. Not really that fancy when you think about it, but it’s a fun (and healthy) swap for traditional pasta.
If you start googling and searching on Pinterest I’m sure you can find thousands of zoodle recipes. There are even entire cookbooks dedicated to spiralized meals. Typically zoodles are made with a spiralizer. I have a Paderno, there’s also a Kitchen Aid spiralizer attachment for stand mixers. But if you’re not sure about buying a somewhat pricey piece of equipment that will be dedicated to cutting veggies in a fancy way, I don’t blame you. Instead you could make them with a mandolin which you may already have, or a julienne peeler which you can get for $12 at Bed Bath and Beyond. Or if you really want, you could julienne them by hand. Any of these ways will work just fine.
I used my Paderno spiralizer for this, which I got for Christmas. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty excited to try it out.
It’s seriously as easy as wash the zucchini, trim the ends off, place into spiralizer length ways, and then spin while keeping constant pressure. And then next thing you know you have a pile of zoodles.
The only downside I found with the spiralizer, is that if you do the whole zucchini all in one go, you end up with insanely long zoodles. So what I ended up doing was taking a clean pair of kitchen scissors and I would cut the zoodles into normal lengths as they came out the end of the spiralizer.
Another thing I learned through trial and error, is that you really don’t want to cook the zoodles for very long. Zucchini has a really high moisture content and the more you cook them, the softer they get, but at the expense of leaking moisture into the pan and making your sauce runny. So you really only want to cook them for a few minutes. Enough to soften them slightly, but so they still retain most of their water. Otherwise you’re left with kind of a goopy mess. Though, if you do end up over cooking them slightly you can just drain off the extra moisture before serving.
I made this dish with a batch of my 10 minute pasta sauce, but a store bought sauce would work equally well. I’ve made this a couple of times now, and I have to say my favourite version was when I used chicken sausage from Four Whistle Farm that I picked up at the Farmers’ Market. Just look for a chicken or turkey sausage that has some Italian seasoning. It goes well with the other flavours in the recipe.
- 2 zucchini, approximately 8" long
- 18 small white mushrooms
- ½ large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 chicken sausage
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups pasta sauce
- Fresh basil to garnish, if desired
- Rinse zucchini and make zoodles as per preferred method.
- Rinse mushrooms and cut into quarters.
- Cook sausage according to package directions. Let cool and slice into bite-sized rounds.
- Heat large skillet or work over medium high heat. Add olive oil.
- Sauté onions and garlic for approximately 2 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and cook until they've almost reached desired tenderness.
- Add sausage and pasta sauce. Cook until sauce is heated through.
- Add zoodles, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Zoodles should soften slightly, but be careful not to overcook.
- Serve and top with fresh basil if desired.