There is something special about home cooking. The warm cozy feeling of home, plus knowing exactly what ingredients are going into your food. Back when I was married, I’d always try to prepare healthy dinners for my family mid-week. The beauty of home cooking is that you can control exactly how much fat and seasonings are being added to your food. My favorite healthy cooking appliance? My spiralizer. Why? Because it is a way to exclude the carbs and include the veggies! I’d use it to spiralize carrots, beets, and especially zucchini. I’d often make zoodles – zucchini noodles. I’d prepare them a zillion different ways, sometimes with tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella, sometimes with homemade pesto sauce…however my newest recipe concoction is this one – garlic parmesan zucchini noodles. Even though the title might sound a bit plain, the combination of fresh garlic and salt, with parmesan, basil and tomato makes an absolutely luscious sauce rich with flavor. Zoodle Primavera I like to call it! I recently tried this home cooking recipe paired up with chopped salad and honey Dijon salmon and it was scrumptious, guilt free, and filling. A colorful and vibrant dish to add on the side and brighten up a standard protein meal during these cold, winter days.
Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles
– 5 medium zucchini (about 2 ½ pounds)
– 2 ½ tbsp. MONINI extra virgin olive oil
– 1 ½ tbsp. of minced garlic (4 to 5 cloves)
– 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional – to taste)
– 3 medium tomatoes, chopped, (about 12 ounces)
– 1 ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese, add more for serving
– 1 cup basil leaves, torn into pieces
– 1 tsp. cornstarch
– 2 tsp. cold water
– Salt and pepper (to taste)
Trim and spiralize the zucchini. Cut the noodles extra-long so that they are about the length of spaghetti. In a large skillet, on a bit of olive oil, grill garlic and red pepper flakes. When the oil begins to bubble around the garlic, add the zucchini noodles. Toss the noodles and cook until firm— they should be wilted, but still have a crunch; 5 to 7 minutes. Add tomatoes and basil and cook 1-2 minutes longer. Do not let the noodles overcook or else they will be mushy. Remove from skillet.
Bring the liquid left in the skillet to a simmer. Combine cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl then slowly whisk into the simmering liquid. Cook, and stir slowly until the liquid starts to thicken into a sauce; about 1 minute. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the zucchini, tomatoes, and basil. Finish with more parmesan cheese on top of garlic parmesan zucchini noodles and serve immediately.
Tip: Zoodles are best served al dente.
As a main meal to the garlic parmesan zucchini noodles side dish, try my soy ginger marinated salmon recipe you will love.