This is one idea I found tucked away in my food-related bookmarks. The NYT Recipes for Health section has some good ideas for healthful foods. I was looking for a good vegetable side dish to go with some grilled fish and thought that this would be interesting: zuicchini prepared to look like pasta.
I have a little bit of a problem calling it pasta because that’s so far removed from the truth. The original article bills it as a way for low-carb diet followers to get some quote-pasta-unquote into their diet without actually having carbs. Don’t get the wrong idea here, the comparisons to pasta really just begin and end with the appearance. It’s basically zucchini cut into long strips instead of chunks. Not pasta at all, but makes for a nice, unique presentation.
The best way to prepare it is to grab a long zucchini and a sharp vegetable peeler. Just run the peeler down the length of the zucchini making long strips. Rotate the vegetable as you go and don’t get too much of the seedy interior–that will just fall apart as it cooks.
My method was extremely simple. First, cut the zucchini into strips as described above. Then heat some olive oil (~1tbsp) and some red pepper flakes (~1/2tsp) over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Once it gets hot, add the zucchini and toss to coat. Do not crowd the pan. If cooking a large amount, separate the zucchini into two or three batches. Cook for about two to four minutes, do not overcook as they will become mushy and fall apart. Add salt, black pepper, and a small squeeze of lemon juice to taste.
You can see the NYT preparation here.