My mom’s new spiralizer from Paderno World Cuisine turns zucchini into noodle-like swirls, a perfect pasta substitute. I had no idea what to expect the first time I tried zoodles, but ever since enjoying that first bowl of delicious zoodles and meatballs, I’ve been a bit zoodles obsessed. On New Year’s Eve, my mom and I decided to try updating our family’s traditional gluten-free spaghetti and clam sauce dinner, replacing the gluten-free pasta with zoodles. Our creation turned out incredibly delicious and satisfying. So delicious and satisfying that I went back for seconds and thirds and could hardly tell I wasn’t eating pasta.
When I first started following a gluten-free diet years ago, it was very difficult to find great-tasting gluten-free noodles. Today there are many tasty brands to choose from, but I still am not a huge fan of gluten-free pasta. Until I tried zucchini noodles. Now I can once again enjoy my favorite pasta dishes with these fresh-tasting, delightfully green zoodles: low in calories (unlike pasta!), naturally gluten-free, paleo friendly, and an excellent way to trick yourself into eating more vegetables.
The zoodles are complimented beautifully by the homemade clam sauce. Clams are a wonderful source of Vitamin A, B12, selenium, magnesium, iron, and omega-3. The clam sauce turns these zoodles into an elegant dish for any special occasion. It’s hard to believe how quick and easy the sauce is to make. We heated oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Added garlic and cooked until golden. Then added the clams and white wine, simmering until slightly thickened, just five minutes, before adding salt, pepper, parsley, and butter.
Since making zoodles several times, we’ve been experimenting with the best way to cook them. This method seems to make the best zoodles each time and prevents them from turning out soggy: Place the spiralized zucchini in a colander and toss with salt until coated. Next, place the colander in a shallow bowl for twenty to thirty minutes while the zoodles release their moisture (you can prepare the clam sauce during this time), then pat dry with paper towels.
When the zoodles are ready to cook, heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet. Cook the garlic until fragrant, then add the zoodles and cook abut two minutes. Stir and cook for one more minute. Then let the zoodles sit for a few minutes to allow any excess water to be released. Drain them after this as well. Finally, transfer them to a bowl and top with the clam sauce and grated parmesan cheese. I’ve found that the zoodles are best when eaten right away.
Start off 2015 right with this fantastic, healthy twist on the Italian classic: zoodles alle vongole. Spirals of zucchini masquerading as my favorite pasta dish. Enjoy!
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- For Zoodles
- 6 medium zucchinis
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- For Sauce
- 2 (6.5
ounce) cans minced clams with juice
- ½ cup white wine
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Cut zucchini into zoodles using a spiralizer. Place the spiralized zucchini in a colander and toss with the salt until coated. Place colander in a shallow bowl for 20 - 30 minutes while zoodles release their moisture, then pat dry with paper towels.
MeanwhilePrepare Clam Sauce
- Meanwhile in a large skillet heat oil over a medium-low heat. Add garlic and cook until golden. Add clams with the juice and the wine and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, parsley and butter. Stir.
- Cook Zoodles
- When the zoodles are ready to cook, pat them with paper towels. Then heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in another skillet. Add 3 cloves of chopped garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add zoodles (zucchini), and cook about 2 minutes. Stir and cook for one more minute. Then let the zoodles sit for a few minutes to allow any excess water to be released, drain. Transfer to a bowl.
- Pour clam sauce over drained zoodles and gently toss. Top with grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
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