This meal was inspired by a Pinterest recipe I'd pinned long ago, but I didn't feel like looking at the actual recipe; I knew basically what I needed and decided to just experiment. Plus, I used marinara from a jar, which I happened to already have at home.
5 small zucchinis (or 2-3 large)
2 c. cooked lentils
3/4 jar of marinara (because that's what I had)
5 crimini mushrooms, wiped clean and diced
2 cloves garlic
1 small shallot bulb
olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, cayenne
I used a mandolin slicer with a special blade to get the zucchini in the right shape, but you can also use a spiralizer or a julienne peeler.
Because I already had the lentils pre-cooked (in my handy rice cooker--who knew!), I didn't need to bother with cooking them. I just put the marinara, lentils, and mushrooms in a pot to heat up (and cook the mushrooms) and added the spices.
Next, I peeled the zucchini, which isn't necessary, but I wanted the "noodles" to look noodly and not green, but next time I probably won't bother to peel first. Then I manually ran all five zucchinis through the slicer until each was satisfactorily shredded.
|Pile of raw zucchini pasta, post shredding.|
In a pan set on medium heat, I added olive oil, garlic, and shallot, to bring out the flavors, until brownish, then I added all of my sliced zucchini, with a little more olive oil and salt and pepper. I wanted them to get loose and noodle-like, but not too soft. I probably cooked them for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
|Cooked "pasta"--smelled absolutely delicious!|
By the time the zucchini was cooked to the texture and flavor I wanted, the other pot with sauce was just about ready. Time to plate!
|Final product. This little plateful didn't last long before I made another.|
Result: Wow! I was impressed with myself on this one. And Tim, the meat lover, really loved it, too. I will note, though, that even though I thought I had a lot of zucchini, it did shrink down with cooking, and I probably could have used more. This same night, I posted my photo to Instagram and saw that another fried had made an alternative pasta out of spiralized sweet potatoes. Can't wait to try that!