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.
Zucchini Spaghetti with Sausage, Sundried Tomatoes & Goat Cheese
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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.