If you’ve ever been on a low-carb diet, you probably know that missing pasta comes with the territory.
When I first began eating low carb, I thought I it would be hard to do without certain bread staples like noodles. But as it turns out, I don’t really miss pasta. However, I do miss all the yummy sauces that I would eat on pasta. When I think about it, I never really craved a bowl of plain pasta with nothing on it. What I was truly enjoying was spaghetti and meat sauce, for example. But again, that was really about the sauce.
A few months ago, I purchased a Paderno World Cuisine A4982799 Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Vegetable Slicer, which you can buy on Amazon for approx $30. I had been hearing about “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) and thought it was a great way to have a vehicle for meat sauce or meatballs once again. My concern, however, was ease in preparation and clean up. Well, it turns out, using spiral vegetable slicer is easy as pie. You plop it on the counter and drop in the blade. Within 5 minutes, you have a generous portion of perfect, long, spiral zoodles! You shouldn’t stop there, however. In order to get the “right” texture, I followed the cooking instructions below and ended up with al dente zoodles. I made a homemade meat sauce and had zoodles and meat sauce for dinner. It really satisfied everything I remembered about having a bowl of pasta, but with a much different health profile. It even twirls like spaghetti! The vegetable spiral slicer can also be used to make curly sweet potato fries or cucumber zoodles for cucumber salad.
Place the zoodles in a colander or mesh strainer, then liberally salt them and let them sit for 20 minutes (don’t skip this step, it’s crucial!). OK, I’ll be honest, I skipped this step, and the zoodles came out just fine, but the next time I made them, I realized this step really does help to render the natural moisture of the zoodles so the sauce sticks to them better.
After 20 minutes, rinse and drain the zoodles and pat dry. Add oil to the saute pan, heat pan to medium-high and then saute up 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic until it’s fragrant. Add the “zoodles” and saute them for 3-4 minutes. You can also microwave the zoodles on high for 2 minutes, drain the excess water and then pat dry.
Serve with your sauce of choice.