Now that Summer has arrived we all naturally crave more fresh food. So what do you do when you want some pasta and you don’t want to heat up your house? You make zucchini pasta! Also known as zoodles, this is a great way to satisfy that pasta craving and while upping your fiber intake.
Side note, zoodles mean something completely different in our home. Being polyglot (French, Spanish, Italian…), we often mix words in other languages. Take the French word for a kiss, “bisous” (phonetically sounds like be-zoo). We like to shorten it to “zoos” or “zoodles”! So now, we have to specify if we are sending a plate of pasta or kisses! But I digress, back to our noodles!
Spiralized zucchini do make a lovely pasta dish that is not only low-carb and gluten-free but also perfect if you are on a Keto diet! I love how colorful and vibrant it is too!
What is the best way to create zoodles?
The quickest and easiest way to create perfect long zucchini noodles is with a spiralizer. It is an inexpensive mechanical device that allows you to spiralize not only zucchini but potatoes, carrots, and other vegetables. If you only plan to make this dish only once in a while, it may be overkill.
Another option is to use what I call a vegetable pencil sharpener because you literally push a carrot through it like a pencil. It may be a little more difficult to get really long noodles but it works pretty well.
You can also use a vegetable peeler julienne like the one on the left. My only issue with it is that it tends to make very thin noodles that are better used for making a salad than pasta. This tool is my go-to tool for all julienne work like for all my carrot, daikon pickles. I have used it almost daily for over 10 years and it is still in perfect working condition. If you are looking for one, we have some in our online store.
You can also use a mandoline to make sheets and then cut them into thin strips. This is a lot more work and requires fairly good knife skills.
TIP: Pat dry the zoodles after making them in order to remove any excess moisture. Or just leave them out for an hour or so and they will naturally dry out.
In terms of quantity, 2 medium zucchini will make a good portion for one person. Cooking doesn’t shrink the zoodles much.
How long should zoodles cook?
Zoodles are loaded with moisture so you only should heat them up for 1-2 minutes. Don’t let them overcook or you will end up with soggy noodles! You want al dente zoodles so keep an eye on them as they cook, taste one zoodle and quickly remove them when you get the right texture.
Zucchini naturally contain a lot of water, so you want to use the water that is released to make your sauce. Only use soft ingredients like garlic paste, olives, capers, cherry tomatoes that only need 1-2 minutes to heat up. You can also add a little cornstarch to the liquid that is released during the cooking to make a creamy sauce.
Don’t salt until you are ready to serve because salt makes vegetables sweat!
Don’t freeze your zoodles because they will become soggy when you thaw them.
Mediterranean Zucchini Noodles
- spiralizer or vegetable julienne tool
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 tbsp garlic minced or paste
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes (multicolored is best)
- 3 tbsp capers drained
- 2 tbsp chopped calamata olives
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 1-2 tbsp herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary...)
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- dash black pepper
Make the zoodles
- Cut both ends of the zucchini and using a spiralizer, make zoodles.
- Pat dry and set aside.
Prepare the veggies
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and set aside.
- Cut the green onions.
- Measure the capers.
- Set aside the fresh basil leaves
- Cut the lemon wedges.
Cook the zoodles
- Heat up the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic paste and stir.
- Quickly add the zoodles, the herbs, the cherry tomatoes, the capers, the green onions and the olive and mix for 1-2 minutes.
- Taste one strand to check if it is al dente. Don't overcook.
- Tur off the heat, squeeze some lemon juice, sprinkle the nutritional yeast, the salt, pepper and fresh basil.
- Serve immediately.