They Do What With Zucchini?
I've been seeing them in the produce section at our corner grocer's for a few months now: long, skinny strips of carrot, yellow squash or zucchini. They're meant to be a low-carbohydrate replacement for pasta, but really, now -- can that be any good?
Finally, I had to try. Tam's doing low-carb and I didn't want to give up on the occasional treat of a spaghetti dinner. Eggs Pomodoro is wonderful, but sometimes you'd like a change, no?
So I bought the stuff. Just in case, I made Bobbi's Overkill Sauce. It starts with a half-pound each of ground sirloin and sweet Italian sausage, mostly cooked and drained, then finished with a nice onion and plenty of fresh mushrooms, to which I add a bottle of whatever spaghetti sauce looks appealing. Newman's "Sockarooni" kitchen-sink version is surprising tasty, even compared to the high-end gourmet stuff, but use whatever you like. The end result stands on its own.
There are several ways to cook vegetable "noodles," none of which are much like boiling pasta in salt water. I opted to saute it for a few minutes; a non-stick skillet and a half-teaspoon of olive oil ensured it wouldn't stick or clump. After five minutes, it was indeed al dente and with the sauce ladled over, it looked like the real deal.
It's good! The taste is not quite the same as traditional spaghetti. It may be better -- zucchini can become bitter in cooking but the quickly sauteed version has none of that, just a nice, mild vegetable richness that complements the sauce. Mouthfeel is like good spaghetti, and not at all slimy the way cheap pasta can be.
Tam and I are not going to have to give up spaghetti.
If you've been looking at the stuff, wondering, give it a try.