Julienned Zucchini Mock Spaghetti with Quick Sausage, Tomato, and Basil Sauce
I loved this Julienned Zucchini Mock 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! And this tasty recipe is low-carb, gluten-free, and South Beach Diet friendly.
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 when I made this Julienned Zucchini Mock Spaghetti with Quick Sausage, Tomato, and Basil Sauce
. 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.)
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.)
10 oz. low-fat 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, a Mandoline Slicer, or a Spiralizer
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
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. (After I posted this I shared Three Ways to Make Noodles from Zucchini or Other Vegetables
. That post might be helpful. Now that I have a Spiralizer
, I would definitely prefer that.) 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 Diet / Low-Carb Diet 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-carb vegetable, so go ahead and eat as much of this as you’d like! This recipe is also great for other low-carb eating plans, some of which might prefer higher-fat sausage.
Find More Recipes Like This One:
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. Or if you’re a member of Yummly
, you can use the Yum button on my site to save the recipe and see the nutritional information there.
More Interesting Ideas for Cooking Zucchini:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Ten Amazing Low-Carb Recipes for Zucchini Noodles from Kalyn’s Kitchen
The BEST Slow Cooker Zucchini Recipes from Slow Cooker from Scratch
Zucchini Pickles from Andrea Meyers
Meat, Tomato, and Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Cups from Kalyn’s Kitchen
Zucchini Waffles from The Perfect Pantry
Zucchini Fritters from Simply Recipes
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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