Bulk up your pasta with some zucchini (and goat cheese, of course)

August 6, 2009 · 19 comments

in chicken/poultry,goat cheese,healthy,pasta,vegetables


Zucchini ribbons.

FINALLY.  A reason to dust off my mandoline.  I’m the first person to tell you not to buy a kitchen gadget you won’t use very often and yet, I’m also the person who  has to stash half my kitchen gadgets in the guest bedroom closet. I got this mandoline…umm, about 2 years ago. I think one time I took it out of the box and pretended like I was going to use it but then…I didn’t.

And I’m not going to lie…using it was kind of a pain. The zucchini did not exactly stay attached to that gripper/slider thing they give you. I think it’s meant more for potatoes and tomatoes than zucchini. So I ended up using my hand and then throwing away part of the zucchini for fear I would grate half my hand into the mix.  But I will certainly say that the ribbons were much nicer and more uniform than when I have made similar dishes to this before and I’m going to try to keep the dust off the mandoline.

Zucchini ribbons (or other vegetables sliced thinly) are a great way to bulk up pasta. You can fool yourself into thinking you are eating more pasta, and of course there are the added health benefits. Combined with some chicken sausage for protein and some sundried tomatoes and goat cheese (because both are awesome), this is a great, easy pasta dish.  This pasta is done in the time it takes the spaghetti to cook, so it’s perfect for a weeknight, too.

I’m going to submit this over to Ruth from Once Upon a Feast, the lovely creator of Presto Pasta Night!

Zucchini Spaghetti with Sausage, Sundried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese

Serves 2
print Printer Friendly Recipe

4 oz.  spaghetti (I use whole wheat) with a scant 1/4 cup of cooking liquid reserved
1 Tbsp. olive oil or oil from sundried tomatoes
2 links spicy Italian sausage (I use Trader Joe’s chicken sausage), sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 cup sliced sundried tomatoes, drained
1 medium to large zucchini, sliced thin julienne
2 oz. goat cheese
fresh basil, to taste, torn or chopped
freshly ground black pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a hefty pinch of salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving a scant 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, heat the oil and add the sausage. Cook for a couple minutes to brown (I use fully cooked sausage; if you don’t you’ll obviously want to cook until it’s done) and then stir in the garlic and crushed red pepper until garlic is fragrant.

Add the sundried tomatoes and zucchini, tossing and cooking for another minute or two.  Add the pasta, goat cheese, reserved cooking liquid, and ground pepper to taste. Toss until everything has combined and the goat cheese and water have made a sauce for the pasta. Scatter the basil over the pasta and serve.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Ellen August 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm

I have always wanted to try this with zucchini. Sounds great!!

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Peter G August 6, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Mandolines are useful but they can be a pain in the knuckles! I love the flavour combo here Elly…especially with that sausage.

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Joan Nova August 7, 2009 at 7:13 am

I, too, have been playing around with vegetable ribbons and lightening up pasta (and other) dishes but I bought a small hand mandoline at BBB for less than $20 and it works great.

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Ruth August 7, 2009 at 11:49 am

My mandoline seems only to like slicing..the julienne setting has yet to be successful. Oh well.

Your pasta looks absolutely heavenly. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. It’s always a treat when you do.

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Colleen August 7, 2009 at 12:44 pm

This looks fabulous – all my favorite flavors! Unfortunately in order to make it I will need to buy a mandoline which I have been searching for!

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The Food Hunter August 7, 2009 at 3:22 pm

This looks delicious. I’ll be making it really soon. thanks

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Kevin August 7, 2009 at 7:52 pm

I really like the idea of using zucchini like this! Great looking pasta!

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Maggie Donaldson August 8, 2009 at 7:13 am

Hi Elly! Love your blog, especially as you too are using Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries this year. I have undertaken a challenge to cook every recipe from this book during 2009 – I am currently on number 133! Do check out my blog if you are interested in how I get on at http://maggiedon.blogspot.com. We had the cobbler the other week when I went friends’ for lunch – it was great, and we liked it a little less on the sweet side – easily adapted for individual tast!

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Shauna August 8, 2009 at 10:22 am

This looks fabulous. I have been wanting to try a pasta incorporating the vegetable ribbons. I love the flavor combination of this dish and will definitely be trying it in the near future. Thanks for another great recipe.

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Susan from Food Blogga August 8, 2009 at 8:59 pm

I have bought two mandolines and have gotten rid of both of them. They never seem to work. So now I just julienne most veggies since my OXO julienne peeler always works.

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Singing Horse August 9, 2009 at 1:19 pm

The zucchini ribbons look really nice. The pasta dish looks fantastic and healthy. I haven’t done PPN for a while now, and I should really participate next time. I hope all is well.

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Laura August 10, 2009 at 9:19 am

These are beautiful. I really, really need a mandoline!

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Lani August 15, 2009 at 2:48 pm

This looks absolutely delicious! I love pasta, zucchini, goat cheese and sundried tomato so this is going on the to-cook list!

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ghweiss August 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm

This is exactly the kind of dish I’d want chicken sausage in. Good point about bulking up pasta with veggies, definitely something to remember.

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Kelly January 21, 2010 at 9:02 pm

We made this last night and LOVED it. Even my husband, who is “allergic to cheese.” :)

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elly January 21, 2010 at 11:01 pm

So glad you both liked it, Kelly!

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Kelly January 22, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Thank you! I was just reading your bio after I saw the “Coobah” chicken recipe. I live in Chicago, too. I love Coobah.

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Margaret February 20, 2010 at 11:17 am

I just discovered chicken sausage and really like it – flavorful and light. I do not even want to own a mandoline. I have zucchini in my freezer from last summer – some sliced, some shredded. I’m going to try your recipe tonight with the frozen zucchini adaptation. I’m trying to lose a few pounds so will probably only make enough pasta for my husband and enjoy the rest of the flavors without it. Thanks!

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