Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

Recipe of the Day: How to Make (and Use) Zoodles

A great substitute for any pasta dish
Jacqui Wedewer/The Daily Meal

If one of your resolutions for the New Year is to get healthier, that doesn't mean you have to abandon all of your favorite dishes in one fell swoop. There are plenty of ways to make your go-to comfort meals with some easy, health conscious swaps. Take pasta for example, the silky, carby ingredient is a common craving, but you can still achieve the shape and feeling of pasta while cutting carbs and calories. Just use zucchini noodles, also known as zoodles, in place of pasta. 

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You may be thinking, "Well, I already tried zoodles, and my dinner turned into a watery mess." True, zucchini is a vegetable that retains a lot of water, but there's one easy method to follow when making zucchini noodles that will ensure the final product isn't watered down.

First things first, make zoodles, don't just buy them premade. This ensures that you're using the right size of zucchini and that it's fresh. When you're at the store, go for zucchini that's brightly colored and has the ends still on. Choosing medium sized zucchini will ensure the noodles are long, but don't have as much water as large zucchini.  

To spiralize the zucchini, start by chopping off the ends. Then stick it on your spiralizer and start turning the handle. After every three or four turns, pull out the noodles. Discard the core, then place the zoodles in a bowl and generously salt them. Once the zoodles are salted, add them to a salad spinner to drain. Once the bowl is filled with water, rinse and drain the zoodles then place them back in the spinner to dry. 

Prepare your zoodles as you would any pasta dish. Serving the zucchini noodles with a lemon cream sauce, topped with some breadcrumbs, is a great way to brighten up the spiralized veggie. But, if you tried the zucchini noodles and feel like there's just no way they can measure up to the real thing, we've got you covered with the best pasta recipes perfect for a weeknight pick-me-up

Zoodles and Asparagus with Lemon Cream Sauce

For the lemon cream sauce:

3 tablespoons butter
2 shallots, minced
18 ounces heavy whipping cream
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
1 ounce parsley, chopped
Salt & pepper, to taste

To serve:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces asparagus, blanched and roughly chopped
1 1/2 ounce zucchini, roasted and roughly chopped
2 ounces roma tomatoes, chopped
1 ounce vegetable broth
1/2 cup lemon cream sauce
10 ounces zucchini noodles
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fresh parsley

For the lemon cream sauce:

Heat butter in a pan, add shallots and saute until fragrant.

Add cream and lemon zest and simmer until thickened.

Remove from heat and add lemon juice and parsley. Stir to combine and season to taste.

To serve:

Heat olive oil in pan. When shimmering, add asparagus, roasted zucchini and tomatoes. Saute for a few minutes.

Add vegetable broth, toss and reduce to au sec.

Add lemon cream sauce and toss to mix. Cook until heated and the sauce bubbles slightly around edges. Remove from heat.

Add the zucchini noodles and toss to coat in the sauce. Cook for 20 seconds.

Use a spatula to bring vegetables to the top of the dish and transfer to a bowl to serve.

Garnish with breadcrumbs and parsley.


Recipe courtesy of Noodles & Company