Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Burrata

zucchini noodle pasta Zucchini noodle “pasta” may be light on the carbs but certainly not light on taste, add in some garlicky roasted tomatoes, fresh basil and dreamy burrata cheese and it’s a flavor explosion!

zucchini pasta ingredients Fresh zucchini ribbons shaped like wide pappardelle pasta get tossed into hot roasted tomatoes with all that precious juice, no need to cook or soften the zucchini beforehand because it wilts down to the perfect al’dente bite from the warm tomatoes.

It’s a fun summer meal, easy to make plus it’s fresh and light.

zucchini noodle pasta Can we just talk about Burrata cheese for a minute, if you’re not familiar with it, it’s an Italian cheese, a beautiful knotted ball of fresh mozzarella on the outside with a surprise on the inside when you tear it open. Inside you’ll find it stuffed with milky, creamy mozzarella curds, it’s so dreamy and everything you use it for will surely elevate your dish.

Tomatoes, burrata and pasta of any kind are a match made in heaven.

zucchini noodle pasta

Gently rip it open and let all that creaminess mingle with the fresh basil and ribbons of zucchini, you might be making it all summer long.

Follow along with me on Instagram where you can see what I’m cooking up daily.

Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Burrata
 
I usually roast a whole quarter sheet pan of tomatoes, two or three pints, if you have extra that's fine.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3 or 4 medium zucchini
  • 3 pints of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, shaved thin
  • 3 - 2 oz. balls of burrata cheese or 6 oz.
  • a large handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • ⅓ cup or so of EVOO
  • grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Line a quarter sheet pan with foil, add the oil, tomatoes, shaved garlic, half of the basil, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast tomatoes until they burst open and juices mingle with the oil and garlic.
  4. While tomatoes are roasting, trim the top and bottom off of the zucchini and with a vegetable peeler make your ribbons, when you get to the seeds turn the zucchini, keep turning and peeling until you go all around the zucchini leaving the seeded center in tact. ( save it for an omelette).
  5. Place your raw zucchini ribbons right into your serving bowl and when the tomatoes are finished roasting pour them right over, juice and all and gently toss.
  6. Take your burrata and tear it open all over the top so all the flavors can mingle together.
  7. Garnish with the remaining chopped basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese.
  8. Eat immediately

 

Signature

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

cauliflower rice pilaf Who ever came up with the idea of ricing cauliflower was brilliant! It’s so versatile and healthy and if you’re trying to stay away from carbs it’s a nice substitute. Can I be honest, I like this recipe for cauliflower rice pilaf better than the real deal which you won’t even miss, plus you’ll feel really good about eating it.

riced cauliflower Let’s talk about cauliflower rice. In the past when it first became popular I made my own with a large head of fresh cauliflower that I riced in my own food processor, but it was a production, I made a mess and usually had cauliflower all over. Now it seems that you can find it riced and ready to go almost everywhere either fresh or frozen and that makes me very happy.

Can I just tell you in all honesty, I prefer the frozen over the fresh. I love the convenience of having it stashed away in my freezer to use whenever I feel like it, it won’t spoil and the taste and texture is the same. My favorite brand is the one shown above it’s delicious, and I love the consistency in the size of the “rice”.

cauliflower rice pilaf This cauliflower rice pilaf is a wonderful side dish to have along with fish, chicken or meats. It’s even great for lunch all week just on it’s own and you don’t even need to heat it up, I’ve eaten it straight out of the fridge like a salad. A bowl of this pilaf is very satisfying.

cauliflower rice pilaf

You can combine any veggies you like, but for me I found this combo to be excellent. Along with the cauliflower rice it has mushrooms, butternut squash, curly kale, red and yellow pepper, red onion, garlic, green onions, cranberries and some salty pecans.

I tried to give you approximate amounts so you could get some idea but I always go over, in my opinion the more veggies the better, so don’t be skimpy, enjoy, it’s all good!

Follow me on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Cauliflower Rice Pilaf
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 12 oz. of fresh or frozen cauliflower rice ( I prefer frozen for convenience)
  • 1 small pack of cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 small red pepper and yellow pepper, small dice
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced small (you'll have extra)
  • 4 thin green onions or 2 larger, cut in small slices
  • 1 packed cup of curly kale, cut into thin strips
  • ¼ cup of red onion, diced small
  • a handful of dried cranberries
  • a handful of salted pecans ( you could use unsalted but I prefer the salted)
  • 1 large clove, garlic grated on a micro-plane or diced very finely
  • a handful of chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In two separate pans roast the sliced mushrooms and the small diced butternut squash, both drizzled with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted at 425 until moisture leaves the mushrooms and the squash gets lightly golden. Set aside and let them cool.
  2. In a large saute pan add the garlic clove, red onion,the kale and both peppers and saute in olive oil for just a couple of seconds to soften slightly, basically until the garlic turns golden, then scoop out and set aside so it can cool down.
  3. Add the cauliflower rice into the large saute pan with more olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cook it until it's tender, do not overcook it! If it's frozen it just takes a few minutes. Let it cool down.
  4. Into a bowl add the cooked cauliflower rice, garlic, red onion, peppers and kale, mix well.
  5. Dump in the cooked mushrooms and also the butternut squash (you probably won't use it all).
  6. Toss into the bowl your green onions, parsley, cranberries and pecans, incorporating everything, mixing well adding more or less according to your liking.
  7. Taste for salt and pepper and drizzling more olive oil if necessary.

 

Signature

Veggie Ricotta Pie with Spaghetti Squash Crust

spaghetti squash crusted tart

Yes, you read that right, spaghetti squash crust, now who would have thought? It works like a charm and it’s a great alternative to a flour crust for a quiche, tart, or in this case a savory ricotta pie.

This is such a nice, healthy vegetarian dinner, especially if you’re still working on your New Years resolution to eating better in 2016, but even if your not it doesn’t matter, this is still a delicious meal you can serve up  at anytime.

spaghetti squash crusted tart

Basically you cook your spaghetti squash, let it cool, then scrape out the strands with a fork. You can season your squash as you wish, I tossed in a little thyme, salt and pepper then pressed it into my greased pie plate with a sprinkling of grated romano cheese on top for added flavor.

spaghetti squash crusted tart

Spread your filling all over the top of the crust, this has ricotta, herbs and a variety of veggies I had leftover in my fridge. I folded some zucchini, red pepper, wild mushrooms, broccoli and a few sundried tomatoes into the ricotta, it’s that simple!

spaghetti squash crusted tart

Let it cool down a bit then slice into wedges and serve with a nice green salad on the side and you’ll have a completely satisfying, healthy and delicious dinner for all.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Veggie Ricotta Pie with Spaghetti Squash Crust
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 2 cups of well drained ricotta
  • 1 garlic clove
  • fresh herbs
  • ¼ cup grated romano cheese, additional for sprinkling
  • ¼ to ½ cup of grated asiago cheese
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • assorted sauted veggies
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut your squash in half, scoop out the seeds, drizzle each side with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place cut side down on foil lined baking sheet and roast til tender and slightly firm in a 375 degree oven, do not over cook it, it will have too much moisture, don't forget it's still going to bake in the oven again.
  2. After the squash cools down pull the strands out with a fork and season with fresh herbs of your choice.
  3. Press squash on the bottom and up the sides of a greased 9 inch pie plate, sprinkle with romano then set aside. while you make your filling.
  4. As far as veggies go, use what you have or your favorites. In my case I used a handful of mushrooms, red pepper strips, 1 zucchini, a handful of cooked broccoli florets and a couple of sundried tomatoes in oil.
  5. I sauteed the zucchini and pepper strips before I added them, the other veggies I used were precooked already.
  6. In a bowl add the ricotta, garlic, fresh herbs salt and pepper and cheeses, taste for seasoning.
  7. Beat the eggs by hand then pour into the ricotta mixture mixing until all incorporated, then fold in all your veggies.
  8. Pour the filling on top of your spaghetti squash crust and bake at 400 degrees until tip of knife comes out clean in the center, mine took about 40 minutes or so, but keep checking, everyone's oven is different.
  9. Let it cool down before cutting into wedges.

 

Signature

Zoodle Pasta Pie

zoodle pasta pie

There’s not one strand of real spaghetti in this pie, it’s all made with zoodles, zucchini noodles, which are still all the rage, have you tried them yet?

Leftover veggies, strands of zucchini pasta, a couple of eggs, herbs and cheese form this savory pie, cut it into wedges, serve it alongside a salad and it becomes a satisfying and healthy meal!

pizza pasta pie

Just for comparison I wanted to show you my Pasta Pizza Pie,  in the photo above it’s made with real spaghetti strands and leftover veggies, each of these dishes are made similar, except this time I just switched out the pasta for zoodles.

zucchini zoodles

Zucchini season is peaking right now and this is just another fun way you can use some of it.

zoodle gadgets

One of the ways that you can make zoodles is with a spiralizer, I love using  it because it makes continual strands that are nice and curly, this is the one I use, but sometimes I just don’t feel like taking out a big gadget and then having to clean it, so I’ll use my julienne peeler instead.

The strands aren’t as long and you don’t get that continuous curl, but when wilted down a bit you can’t tell much difference, check out this older post of mine, titled Faux Spaghetti, and see what I’m talking about..

zoodle pasta pie ingredients

Just use whatever veggies and herbs you might have on hand, you don’t need much, I used an eggplant, some mini red pepper rings, artichoke hearts, peas, broccoli tops and onion, again it was just small amounts.

zoodle pasta pie

The cheese will bind it all together and form the perfect zoodle pasta pie!

Follow me on Instagram!

zoodle pasta pie

Zoodle Pasta Pie
 
This is a take on a pasta pizza pie I made by just replacing the pasta with zucchini noodles or "zoodles" it's healthy, low carb and gluten free and it tastes amazing!
Author:
Ingredients
  • I used a 12" oven proof skillet
  • 4 or 5 zucchini, or a mixture of yellow squash and zucchini, turned into zoodles
  • leftover veggies of your choice, diced medium and pre-cooked or roasted
  • fresh basil and parsley
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ small onion
  • parmesan or romano cheese, grated
  • 1 cup, mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Create your zoodles first, then place in a big bowl, add your beaten eggs, a generous handful of grated cheese, the mozzarella, herbs and cooked vegetables, gently toss and combine everything.
  2. Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of skillet, saute onion and garlic
  3. Add the zoodle mixture and let the bottom set a bit until you see a golden color.
  4. Finish it off in a 400 degree oven, until cheeses melt and bind everything, convection roast if you have it.
  5. Let it rest before cutting it, I cut my wedges with a pizza cutter.

 

 

Signature

Zucchini Noodles with Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Cream

zucchini noodles with tomatoes and cream Zucchini noodles have been all the rage for quite a while now, I’ve even made them my self and posted it here on my blog. In the past I’ve used my handy julienne slicer to create my “pasta” noodles but recently I bought a Spiralizer to see what all the hype was about.

I’m really not a person who has lots of big gadgets, quite frankly I don’t like cleaning all the different parts, but I’m going to make an exception with this one, I loved it!

What I like about it is that you get long continuous noodles that really look like pasta, it’s super healthy and light, a pasta alternative when you want one, it’s low carb, gluten free and you can create a million different recipes with it just like you can with regular pasta, and just like I did with this dreamy sauce, more on that below!

So far I’ve only tried it with zucchini and yellow squash but it’s also good with potatoes, butternut squash, onions, carrots, cucumbers, the list goes on and on and it comes with three different blades.

zucchini noodles I was surprised how easy it was to use, just cut the tip and bottom off your zucchini, then slice it right in half and attach the big hunk to the slicer, now turn the handle and watch your noodles appear.  I couldn’t stop, I was out of control I used five zucchini and two yellow squash, I had a ton when I was done and it all came out perfectly, nice and curly and long.

zucchini noodleszucchini noodlesspiral vegetable slicer The feature I really love about this is that it actually cores your squash, see the picture above, all the seeds are contained which makes for a nice dry “pasta” and you know how wet zucchini can be. In fact I had so much leftover that I put it into zip bags and two days later the “pasta” was still dry, no moisture at all in the bag which is so typical of cut zucchini, that was a big plus for me!

slow roasted cherry tomatoes Now for that dreamy sauce I paired it with, it came straight out of this book, by Domenica Marchetti. I’m always roasting cherry tomatoes, I’ve done it a zillion times, but never have I placed them into heavy cream and parmesan afterwards. Brilliant!

slow roasted cherry tomatoes and cream

Wow!  I knew I would love this recipe the minute I saw it in her book, it’s decadent and oh so flavorful and actually a little goes a long way. But what’s not to love about slow roasted tomatoes, cream, parmesan, basil and thyme, it’s a match made in heaven!

zucchini noodles with tomatoes and cream And you might not feel as guilty spooning it over healthy zucchini pasta noodles, I didn’t!

Zucchini Noodles with Slow-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Cream
 
Ingredients
  • 3 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash made into zucchini noodles by using either a Spiralizer or a julienne slicer.
  • For the Slow Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Cream Sauce, adapted from Domenica Marchetti's, (The Glorious Vegetables of Italy)
  • I used a mixture of both yellow and red cherry tomatoes for added color
  • 1 pint of yellow cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 pint of red cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 or 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • small handful, chopped fresh basil
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Arrange the cherry tomatoes cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle all over with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 275 degrees F for 1½ hours until puckered but still juicy.
  2. Heat the butter in a saute pan over medium low heat, when the butter is melted and starts to foam add the shallot, cook until softened.
  3. Scrape in the tomatoes and any juices that collected on the baking sheet.Add the thyme sprigs and pour in the cream, I added half of the cheese by sprinkling it around the tomatoes and into the cream.
  4. Heat gently on low until it simmers. Turn off the heat and stir in basil.
  5. In a larger saute pan, drizzle with oilve oil and place your zucchini noodles on top, gently cooking and carefully tossing until just slightly wilted and still al dente, just a few minutes.
  6. Place zucchini noodles onto a serving platter and spoon the sauce right over the top, adding more parmesan cheese.

 

Signature

Faux Spaghetti

If you’re going easy on the carbs right now but have a craving for spaghetti, I have the perfect solution for you!
 Al’ dente strands of julienned zucchini tossed with roasted veggies of your choice flavored with shaved garlic, olive oil, basil, red pepper flakes and generous amounts of grated romano cheese.

You’ll love the flavor and texture and even if you’re not watching your carbs it can be the perfect meatless meal along with a salad.

I love my handy julienne slicer it works so fast, before you know it you’ll have a pile of zucchini “pasta” right before your eyes, just work the sides and when you reach the seeds, give it a turn.
 The core of the zucchini will be left which I then dice and roast up for future use.
I roasted two different color cauliflower for mine and added some cherry tomatoes, next time I’ll roast those too, I forgot, but it didn’t matter, it was so yummy anyway!
Here’s what you do:

First, roast off the veggies of your choice in a 425 degree oven tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper, then set aside.
Have your zucchini “pasta” all ready to go then heat up a large saute pan drizzled with olive oil, add shaved garlic and red pepper flakes, saute until garlic is light golden. Next, add zucchini and cook for only about 2 minutes tossing with some tongs just until wilted and still al’ dente. Remove pan from heat, add the roasted veggies, fresh basil, lots of grated romano cheese and of course another drizzle of olive oil!

Signature

Vegetable Egg in a Hole

Traditional Egg in the Hole is made by cutting a hole in the middle of some bread then cracking an egg inside the hole and then simply frying it all together. Do you remember the famous breakfast scene in Moonstruck between Olivia Dukakis and Cher? I once did a post on the famous “Moonstruck Eggs”.

Well this is the low carb veggie version. I love how acorn squash looks when you slice it into rings a perfect ready made hole for your egg! Don’t bother to peel it, just carefully slice the squash into rings, take out the seeds, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in an oven at 400F for about 20 minutes, you can do this all the day before.

When you’re ready to cook it drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of your pan, place the squash rings inside then gently crack your egg in the middle. Cook on low heat partially covered then snip fresh rosemary on top along with freshly grated parmesan cheese, it’s a perfect flavor combination with the squash and a beautiful presentation for a special breakfast, and it’s so easy to do! Don’t worry about the peel it slips right off.

Another great vegetable that works well is peppers of all different colors, here I used red peppers which I sliced into rings then sauteed in olive oil until tender right in the pan it only takes a few minutes, then finish cooking the egg as I did above, this was garnished with a dry Tuscan style herb mix that I have.

Everything stays contained in it’s own neat little package, and again such great flavor combinations going on here, sweet red pepper, creamy egg, olive oil and herbs!

Here’s more of a free form method I do when I have leftover veggies, put them in a pan, make a hole in the center and crack an egg right in the middle,just be careful when you slide it on to your plate you might want to add some cheese to the veggies so they stay together or better yet use individual casserole dishes so everything is contained.
Acorn squash and red peppers are everywhere right now so pick some up and give this a try I think you’re going to love it!
Have a great weekend, and Buon Appetito!
Signature