Friday, July 13, 2012

Recipe for Julienned Zucchini "Spaghetti" with Quick Sausage, Tomato, and Basil Sauce

Julienned Zucchini "Spaghetti" with Quick Sausage, Tomato, and Basil Sauce
Don't think of Zucchini "Spaghetti" as a replacement for pasta, think of it as a delicious zucchini dish!

(For Phase One Fridays I highlight Phase One recipes from the past that have been my personal favorites.  I made this julienned zucchini "spaghetti" over and over after I tried it last summer.)

Have you ever used a Julienne Cutter or a Mandoline Slicer to cut zucchini into thin "spaghetti-like" strands and then served it like pasta?  I have both those handy cooking tools and I certainly have an abundance of zucchini every summer, but I just tried doing that for the first time this week.  I ate my zucchini "spaghetti" with a very tasty quick sauce made from spicy hot Italian sausage, tomatoes, and lots of chopped basil, parsley, and oregano, and completely enjoyed it for a quick dinner.

It also happened to be a dinner that was Phase One, Gluten-Free, and Sugar-Free if anyone is thinking about those things, and it could easily have been meatless with a slightly different sauce option.   For example, I think this zucchini "spaghetti" would make a delicious vehicle for delivering pesto to your mouth!  I do recommend thinking of this as another delicious way to cook zucchini and not as a replacement for pasta, but if you like zucchini and the summer duo of tomatoes and basil, I think you'll enjoy this dish.    

I always buy turkey Italian sausage and squeeze it out of the links for a recipe like this, so I was excited to find this Italian seasoned ground turkey.  I added a little hot pepper flakes to make it spicier, but you could skip that if you want it mild.  (And South Beach Diet food police, notice there's only 7% fat in this!)

Heat a little olive oil in a heavy frying pan and brown the sausage.

Then push the sausage over to the side, add a couple teaspoons more olive oil to that spot, and saute a little minced garlic and a few hot pepper flakes.  (Someday I'll show you the handy garlic mincer my friend Margarethe gave me that minced the garlic so neatly like that!)

Then add 1 can petite dice tomatoes or 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes plus about 1/4 cup water, and some ground fennel.  (If you don't have fresh herbs you could add dried basil, parsley, and oregano at this point, but I'd use fresh if you can.)

While the sauce simmered, I used my Julienne Cutter (which I first read about on 5 Second Rule) to make the strands of "spaghetti."

Chop up a generous amount of fresh basil, parsley, and oregano.

When nearly all the water has simmered away, add the fresh herbs and simmer about 5 minutes more.

In a very large heavy frying pan heat about 1 T olive oil (depending on your pan), add a few garlic cloves and cook until you start to smell garlic (to season the oil).  Then discard the garlic.

Immediately add the strands of zucchini and cook over high heat, turning over a few times, just until the spaghetti is hot.  This was only about 2 minutes for me in a cast-iron pan.  Season the "spaghetti" to taste with salt and fresh-ground black pepper.

Then add the sauce and gently combine.  Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

If anyone is interested, I found several recipes on the web that advised salting the zucchini and letting it drain to remove some of the liquid.  I tried that the first time, but I liked the zucchini much better when it hadn't been salted and drained.


Julienned Zucchini "Spaghetti" with Quick Sausage, Tomato, and Basil Sauce
(Makes 2-4 servings, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from many sources.)

Ingredients:
10 oz. lowfat turkey Italian sausage, hot or mild (about 3 links if you're using that type)
2-3 T olive oil, divided (if you use a nonstick pan you'll need less oil)
3 large cloves of garlic, minced + 3 more to season the oil
pinch hot pepper flakes (optional)
1 (14.5 oz.) can petite dice tomatoes with juice (or use 2 generous cups chopped fresh tomatoes)
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. ground fennel (or less if you're not crazy about fennel)
2 medium sized zucchini (9-10 inches long) cut into thin strands with a Julienne Cutter or a Mandoline Slicer
5 T chopped fresh basil
2 T chopped fresh parsley
1 T chopped fresh oregano
(Or use any combination of chopped fresh herbs that you have. See after the recipe for information about using dried herbs.)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (for seasoning zucchini)
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving if desired

Instructions:
Heat about 1 T olive oil in a heavy frying pan, then add turkey sausage (squeezed out of the links if needed) and use a turner to break the sausage apart and cook until it's lightly browned, about 5 minutes.   When the sausage is browned, push it over to the side and add 2 tsp. olive oil, 3 cloves of minced garlic, and hot pepper flakes if using.  Let them cook about a minute, then mix the garlic into the sausage and add the tomatoes, water, and ground fennel (and dried herbs if using.)  Turn heat down to low and let the sauce simmer while you prep other ingredients.

Use a Julienne Cutter or Mandoline slicer to cut the spaghetti into long strands.  (Cut off the ends, wash and dry the zucchini, and then cut into julienne strands.  You can also do this with a knife if you're patient.)  Wash and dry the herbs and finely chop. 

In about 15 minutes, or when the water has mostly cooked out of the sauce, stir in the chopped herbs and let sauce simmer about 5 minutes more.  Heat about 1 T olive oil over high heat in a very large frying pan, add 3 whole garlic cloves and saute until you can start to smell garlic, then remove and discard the garlic.  Immediately add the zucchini strands to the hot pan and cook stirring a few times just until the zucchini is heated through, about 2 minutes.  Season the cooked zucchini with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste.  Add the sauce to the zucchini and gently combine.  Serve hot, with freshly grated Parmesan cheese if desired.  

Using Dried Herbs:
You can certainly make this sauce with dried herbs, although I think fresh herbs, especially fresh basil, really add a lot of flavor here.  If you only have dried herbs, I'd add them when you add the tomatoes and fennel and add a couple of tablespoons more water.  I would use about 1 T dried basil, 1 tsp. dried parsley, and 1/2 tsp. dried oregano.  You can of course use a combination of fresh and dried herbs as well, just add the dried herbs at the beginning and the fresh ones at the end.


South Beach Suggestions:
If it's made with low-fat turkey Italian sausage, everything about this zucchini dish would be a great choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  Zucchini is a very low-glycemic vegetable, so go ahead and eat as much of this as you'd like, but use a little moderation on the Parmesan cheese!

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

Ten More Interesting Ideas for Cooking Zucchini:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices from Kalyn's Kitchen
Easy Cheesy Zucchini Bake from Kalyn's Kitchen
Parmesan Encrusted Zucchini from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Zucchini Greek Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen
Zucchini Fritters from Simply Recipes
Zucchini Pickles from Andrea Meyers
Persian Baked Zucchini from Herbivoracious
Zucchini Waffles from The Perfect Pantry
Carrot Zucchini Stir-Fry from Dianasaur Dishes
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit

68 comments:

Nisrine said...

Dear Kalyn, this looks extremely tasty, and I am dangerously tempted.

Natalie said...

Yum!! This summer I tried zucchini "noodles" for the first time, too. I can't believe i waited so long!

Kalyn said...

Nisrine, so glad you are tempted. And there is nothing dangerous about this, eat as much as you'd like.

Natalie, that's just how I felt too. They were so good with the spicy sauce.

kelley {mountain mama cooks} said...

Oh, wow, Kayln. This looks absolutely delicious. I've been struggling with the no wheat thing so this would make a great alternative! And so pretty too!

Kalyn said...

Thanks Kelley. It was so good (actually much better than I had expected, lol!)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm getting out the mandoline right away. What a great way to use zucchini! I know you could cut this by hand, but the mandoline will make it so easy. Great recipe.

Kalyn said...

Thanks Lydia. I think I'll try cutting some with the mandoline too. I think that will cut it a bit thicker and it might be good for eating with pesto!

nancy@skinnykitchen.com said...

I love the sound of these healthy dish. It looks delicious. Spaghetti squash might also taste great instead of zucchini...

Kalyn said...

Thanks Nancy. I wish I had some spaghetti squash; didn't plant any this year.

overtimecook.com said...

This looks delicious! I love healthy supper recipes- I bookmarked this one.

I specifically love that you use turkey- so much healthier than meat. And the zuccini is a brilliant idea instead of pasta!

-Miriam

Joanne said...

I've seen so many bloggers who love zucchini noodles that I really need to try them! First...need to get that slicer.

gfe--gluten free easily said...

Kalyn, that looks totally delicious! I love how you advise folks not to consider this recipe a replacement for pasta, but a zucchini dish worthy on its own merit. :-) That's so true of so many foods and recipes. We just need to be open to new forms of goodness. ;-)

Shirley

Linda Farmer said...

I've often used zucchini ribbons as a base for my bolognese sauce, and I love it. Which is something because I'm not that big a zucchini fan. Guess I should learn how to use my mandoline! :-)

But I can't stand the suspense - please tell us about your garlic mincer, THAT I could use indeed!

Thanks for another winning SB recipe, Kalyn.

Jackie K. said...

I just wanted to mention that in the event you can't find the seasoned ground turkey meat you can cut the casing off the sausage and just pull it right off instead of squeezing it out. I'm sure you know this but for someone who may not have, I do it all the time with any kind of sausage :)

Joanne moore said...

This looks delicious! I just started back on South Beach diet this week, and as an Italian girl, I'm missing my pasta. What a perfect alternative! I guess you could also use spaghetti squash as well. Can't wait to try it!

Kalyn said...

Miriam, glad you like it. I am a huge fan of the turkey Italian sausage!

Joanne, the little hand one was only about $15 and I love it! I ordered one as soon as I saw it on 5 Second Rule!

Shirley, so true!

Linda, the garlic mincer is from Williams Sonoma. Here it is on their website. I'm going to do a post spotlighting it I love it so much!

Jackie, great idea!

Joanne, hope you enjoy it.

Nicole said...

I have one of those julienne cutters from Pampered Chef and I've never actually tried using it! I'll have to dig around my drawer and see if I can find it :-)

Inspired by eRecipeCards said...

I must have that slicer! Zucchini must be in the air, about the 5th post i have read this hour with zucchini.

katiez said...

What a marvelous idea! I have both lots of zucchini and a mandolin.... And lots of tomatoes. I see this in my future. This time of year I start running out of zucchini ideas....

superfood sisters said...

WOW this looks AWESOME!! I will defiantly be trying this! My kids love pasta and I am trying to get them away from it so maybe this will be a good trick for them!! They liked spaghetti squash so I would imagine they will like this too. Thank you!

FabFrugalFood said...

What could be better than practically ZERO carb "spaghetti"???

Donna

CJ said...

THAT looks delicious!!!

Mark said...

You sold me on the zucchini pasta. My mind is racing thinking of all the good pasta dishes I miss. I bet they are great with just a little oil, salt and herbs. Thanks for the great idea!

Kalyn said...

Thanks everyone, I'm sold on it. Now I wonder why it took me so long to try it.

And the sauce I'm thinking I will try next is pesto!

Monica @ TheYummyLife said...

Well, I have to try this. Sure beats the heck out of all the carbs in pasta, and it looks delicious. Great recipe!

Jeanette said...

Love those zucchini "noodles!" I have a spiral slicer that makes long veggie noodles, and I tried it on zucchini last summer. I made a raw zucchini noodle salad, but I think I would have preferred it cooked. I'll have to give it try - your pasta looks so good.

Jen @ Savory Simple said...

This sounds really wonderful! I'm always looking for new healthy recipes and I'm definitely bookmarking this for future use. Your photography is also lovely.

Tres Delicious said...

Wow just wonderful! have to do it one of these days,Sure will be tasty!

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

About once a year I love to make "spaghetti" with a "spaghetti squash" torn apart with a fork and dressed in a typical pesto. It's delicious!

Irma said...

Kalyn - we made this last night using fresh tomatoes and zucchini from our garden and it was FANTASTIC. I will definately be making this again. I even went out and bought a julienne slicer to use and luv it - definately a useful tool for the kitchen. Thanks for the great recipe.

Kalyn said...

I'm just delighted that I'm introducing so many people to this idea (and even getting you guys to buy one of those nifty julienne peelers!) And I do agree that you could use spaghetti squash instead of zucchini for the "noodles" as well.

Cooking Creation said...

Ooo! I must try this one! I sounds so good!!

Barb said...

I didn't have any turkey sausage in the freezer, but did have a pound of regular Italian. Used two links hot and two links sweet. It was AWESOME!!!!!

Kalyn said...

Barb, so glad you enjoyed it! (I love Italian sausage; sounds good with a mix of both kinds.)

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

I've been meaning to try zucchini this way. I often will make a pasta sauce and put it over steamed broccoli or other veggies instead of pasta but I've never cut the zucchini this way. I just stuck it on the menu plan for next month! (Yes, I'm odd, I plan WAY ahead on meals!)

Kalyn said...

Debbie, if anyone plans their meals even a few days ahead I'm impressed!

EcoSmartProducts said...

This recipe looks great. I wish my husband like zucchini.

FOODalogue said...

I've done similar dishes when I'm trying to cut down on carbs...with spaghetti squash, with julienned zucchini and with a mix, adding just a few strands of spaghetti.

P.S. I never saw the seasoned turkey but will look for it when I got to the supermarket.

Kalyn said...

Interesting idea to add just a little spaghetti to the zucchini. I think the seasoned turkey is a new product; I just saw it recently for the first time.

Linda Farmer said...

Thanks so much for the lead on the garlic mincer, Kalyn. We took a drive (30 miles) to our nearest Williams & Sonoma but they didn't have one in stock so they ordered it for me - yay, no shipping charges. The larger size looks great for diced veggies too.

Kalyn said...

Linda, now you have me curious about the larger one. I have been using it almost every time I cook!

Aggie said...

I have to get my hands on one of those julienners! I had spaghetti squash w a nice hearty roasted veggie tomato sauce tonight & I was in heaven. This looks so delicious!

Kalyn said...

Aggie, I bought mine at Amazon.com for about $15.

Marita said...

I made this recipe for dinner last night with the zucchini, cherry tomatoes and parsley from my CSA bag, as well as basil and oregano from my yard. It was delicious! The Italian turkey sausage really cranks up the flavor. I think that will be my go-to sausage from now on. Who needs the fat from pork when you get just as much flavor from turkey? Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

Kalyn said...

Marita, so glad you liked it. I love the turkey sausage!

MaryReid said...

I just made this dish and it is absolutely wonderful! I never knew you could make zucchini noodles and as I didn't have a julliene slicer I used my peeler and then cut the peelings into long slices with a sharp knife. The work was well worth the pay-off. I also used some Aidells sausage (sliced) as I didn't have any turkey sausage on hand. I will be keeping this recipe in my file for future dishes! THANK You!

Kalyn said...

Mary, so glad you liked it!

Cate said...

Love the idea of julienned zucchini - perfect way to take advantage of summer's bounty.

Jeanette said...

Kalyn, what a fantastic summer dish, great way to use the bounty of zucchini. I haven't seen that Italian seasoned ground turkey around here, but what a nice lower fat alternative to sausage.

Angela said...

Just delicious looking. I can see lots of ways to do this, but I must have that julienne cutter.

Elaine Egan said...

Looks fantastic can't wait to try it out. I have been looking for an alternative to pasta looks like I've found it. Big thank you from Co. Clare Ireland.

Luana said...

I got a julienne peeler recently and love the zucchini "pasta" that it makes. It's quick and easy, easier than the real stuff and I love the way to adapts to whatever you put on it, kind of like real pasta.

Didn't know about that Jennie-O had an Italian seasoned ground turkey. I'll have to look for it next time.

Kalyn Denny said...

Thanks Cate. Love this.

Jeanette, I find the seasoned ground turkey at Kroger if you have that store. It's really useful.

Angela, I love the julienne cutter!

Elaine, glad you like it and fun to hear from someone in Ireland!

Luana, two cheers for the julienne cutter. I use the seasoned ground turkey a lot.

Paula {Salad in a Jar} said...

I just ordered the julienne slicer. Brilliant suggestion. I've got zucchini in the fridge right now that is fixin to be made into "spaghetti" for lunch. Thanks for the idea.

Kalyn Denny said...

Paula, I think you will love it!

Lori Tedrick said...

Made this tonight for my family and they LOVED IT. Not a leftover to be found. Thanks for sharing

Kalyn Denny said...

Lori, so glad it was a hit!

~terry said...

Wow... I just made this using ground turkey breast seasoned with Penzey's Italian sausage seasoning and fresh tomatoes from my grandma's garden. It was phenomenal! Thanks for the recipe, Kalyn!

Kalyn Denny said...

~terry, so glad you liked it!

dizzy5 said...

one can cut the noodles with a knife and you'll get 'linguini'. First, slice the sides of the veg for square. . cut the ends, so the 'noodles' are all the same length and cook the scraps and uncooperative pieces separate for a different plate.

Mama Manda said...

My husband found the julienne cutter at macy's in the kitchen stuff area. it's SO cool, definitely my new favorite kitchen tool!! I can't wait to discover other things to do with it. I made this recipe the other night and it was TO DIE FOR awesomeness!!!! Super easy too - I know the julienne cutter thing might scare you, but it was SO easy, the sauce is insanely yummy!! If you're scared to do SBD because you can't give up your spaghetti, trust me, you'll never look back - incredible recipe, Kalyn!!! thank you again!

Kalyn Denny said...

Dizzy5, so many options for zucchini.

Mama Manda, so glad you enjoyed it.

Cheryl Colgan said...

This was absolutely delicious! I ordered the julienne peeler you mentioned off Amazon and couldn't wait for it to get here to try this recipe. This dish had so much flavor with such simple ingredients, and this peeler is going to be my new favorite toy!

Kalyn Denny said...

Cheryl, so glad you enjoyed it. That peeler is quite easy to get infatuated with!

Andrea J McManus said...

This is SPECTACULAR!!! I have tried several of your recipes and I have yet to find one that is not great! But this has to be my new favorite!!

Kalyn Denny said...

Thanks Andrea! So glad you are enjoying the recipes.

Name Omitted for privacy reasons said...

I made this tonight for dinner. When I saw the recipe I saw Spaghetti Sauce and Squash and didn't read the ingredients, automatically assumed spaghetti squash. Have to say my husband and I absolutely loved it, felt like we couldn't get enough of it. Only thing we found is it isn't super filling, but we found it very satisfying... I highly recommend spaghetti squash - gave it a spaghetti feel... and much easier than julienne'ing zucchini... we microwaved a 3.5 lb squash for 7 mins (2 min/pound) to soften the rhinde, then cut in half and cooked in the oven at 375 for 45 mins, then removed the seeds and used a fork and peeled the squash "noodles" out... super easy cuz while the squash was cooking, I fixed the sauce. When the squash was done, dinner was ready! :) AMAZING!!!! Highly recommended, and definitely a doer once again!

Kalyn Denny said...

Thanks for the idea, I think I would love this with spaghetti squash as well.

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