You may have noticed in the resources section of this blog I listed the Oh She Glows cookbook as a great resource. Well, this meal is an example of why her recipes rock!
Now, being the true southerner that I am, when I think of pasta I think of good old white pasta spaghetti noodles. However, this recipe is pasta with a twist! The noodles are actually made of zucchini and squash. You heard me…and they were delicious. I will never feel deprived again when it comes to pasta. I actually think these noodles are tastier than regular old white pasta noodles. Besides why would you want to put “bad carbs” into your body when instead you could eat these noodles that are both healthy and tasty? Remember, it’s not about depriving yourself, it’s about substituting with good replacements.
I was also a little skeptical about the difficulty of making these noodles. I was actually pleasantly surprised, they weren’t difficult to make at all. I just purchased a tool called the Veggetti from Amazon. It was less than $15 and so easy to use. Remember, I like easy and this tool makes making zucchini noodles a snap. All you do is place the zucchini and/or squash piece into the tool, give it a few spins and voila’, you have your noodles!
Okay, now at this point I am encouraged because they actually look like noodles. However, I still have to cook them and I just can’t imagine what they are going to taste like??? So, I start sauteing the veggie noodles in a skillet with some olive oil for about 20 minutes, continuously stirring. I’m still thinking to myself, “What in the world could these things taste like when they are finished?”, “How will I know when they are finished?” Well, like I said it took me a good 20 minutes, cooking on medium-high then backing down to medium. I certainly didn’t want any crunch in my noodles, that would really ruin it for me. Again, pleasantly surprised…the texture was just like a regular noodle but the taste was even better! Don’t be like me, don’t let the noodle thing scare you off from such a great recipe. This is now going to be a regular meal in our home. The best part was, we had leftovers for the next night. I just made a new batch of noodles and dinner was served! Life is good!
Lentil Mushroom Pasta
- 4 pieces of zucchini or squash or a mixture of both
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 cup of cooked green lentils
- 3 cups of cremini mushrooms
- 1 onion diced
- 2 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 28 oz. can of whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
- 1/2 cup packed fresh basil
- Seal salt to taste
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
Instructions for sauce:
- In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir to combine. Saute for 5-6 min, until the onion.
- Stir in the mushrooms and raise heat to medium-high. Cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, until much of the liquid released by the mushrooms has cooked off.
- Add the basil, whole peeled tomatoes and juices, tomato paste, salt, oregano and thyme. Stir to combine. Add the red pepper flakes, the chia seeds, and lentils then stir to combine.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Simmer the sauce, stirring every so often, for 15 to 20 minutes.
Instructions for zucchini noodles:
- Wash zucchini and/or squash.
- Using a Veggetti, or another type of veggie spiral tool, begin making your noodles. For the Veggetti, just slice one end of the zucchini and/or squash off and place that end in the tool. Spin a few times and place noodles in a bowl.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saucepan over medium to medium-high heat.
- Pour noodles and sea salt into bowl, stirring every so often.
- Saute for about 20 minutes.
- Serve with pasta sauce and enjoy!