Sunday, February 9, 2014

Zucchini "Spaghetti" with Lentil and Mushroom Marinara (GF/V)

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!


Patricia Blakeslee said...

Oh wow! Looks fantastic! Can't wait to make this.

shirley said...

Okay, I don't eat spaghetti so I really can't tell you that I'll try it. But, I like how you did everything, your presentation was beautiful and it sounds like an easy recipe for me to pass on to friends. I do have one question, why lentil? Any particular reason?

Lee Davidson said...

Thanks for reading, aunties!

Shirley, I chose lentils because (1) they were part of the recipe I originally saw on Pinterest, but it seemed like a good idea because (2) lentils are a pretty hearty legume and packed with protein, so they made a good meat replacement :)