Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Zucchini Pasta with Mushrooms (Vegan) (Gluten Free)

Can we all just take a moment to bask in the glory that is Italian food? Seriously, what's not to love about pasta, bread, and cheese!? Carbs and fat, you say? Oh right.
Well, the good news is that Italian flavors don't have to come from just pasta, bread, and cheese. In fact, some if my very favorite Italian style dishes contain none of those things. Too good to be true? Nope!

This recipe serves two. Unless you eat like a bird then three. No bird eaters around here, though! ;)

What you'll need:
4 medium zucchini (a couple large ones would work, but I am using what I found at the store)
6-8 crimini (baby portobello) mushrooms 
1 small onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tps oregano
Juice of one lemon
Sea salt and pepper

First, with a vegetable peeler or a mandolin style food slicer, slice your zucchini very thin and length wise into a large bowl. Like so...

Salt the sliced zucchini generously and toss it to coat. Set this aside. The salt will aid in the process of removing the water.

In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms, diced onion, and minced garlic. 

Give your veggies a good stir to coat with the evoo, then sprinkle in the crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, and pepper. Not adding additional salt here because we coated the zucchini with enough. Speaking of zucchini enough water should be released now, so toss it into a strainer over your bowl. 

After the water has been strained off. Check out the mushroom mix. If it looks cooked down suffeciently toss in the zucchini. 

The salt with have softened the zucchini strips as though they were cooked so, this step it only to remove any excess water that may come out from the veggies being heated. Juice your lemon over the veggies, and raise the heat under your pot. You want all of the water/juice to evaporate, leaving behind only the intensified flavor of the veg, lemon, and the olive oil. The olive oil acts as the sauce when all the liquid is gone. Be careful not to over stir this mix. You want zucchini strips not chunks. 

This dish would make a great lunch on its own, or an even better dinner if paired with some delicious Italian style potatoes. Like so...

I got the recipe for the potatoes from my favorite Italian, Create TV chef, Lidia Bastianich. I watched her prepare this dish on one of her shows, but I have been unable to find a link to the recipe. You can however find some of her other delicious Italian recipes at lidiasitaly.com. 


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