There’s plenty of silly names for them: zoodles, zusketti, zuttuccine.
Strangely, we call zucchini “zukes” (and and cucumbers “cukes”) around this house. Because the original is just too long to say right?
Call them what you wish, but Zucchini noodles are kind of like the new spaghetti squash. Or at least they are during the Summer when this type of squash is in abundance and the spaghetti squash is a little harder to find. I am partial to the taste of a zucchini “pasta” over the spaghetti squash and have been using it more and more since investing in this World Cuisine $35 spiral slicer I found on Amazon. It makes noodles that go on for miles and can be slurped up Lady and the Tramp style.
I’ve found that I prefer to peel and cook the noodles so they soften and take on the texture of a starchy noodle. However, zucchini is one of those vegetables that is not appetizing to me in it’s raw state, so it’s really a matter of preference. And, while the skin does have a lot of vital nutrients, these noodles are much closer to a real noodle when they’re peeled.
Here’s a quick tutorial on how to prepare these lovely noodles. Serve them with any sauce you’d like: from dairy-free Pesto Alfredo to a simple Marinara with Meat Sauce.
Serve the noodles under this Italian Meat Sauce from page 172 of my new cookbook Against All Grain
Spiral Slicer or Julienne Slicer (only $10, but won’t make the continuous strands)
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Wash and peel your squash
Insert the ⅛-inch slicing disc into your spiral slicer. Place 1 squash on the prongs and line up the de-seeding hole in the middle of the end of the squash. Turn the crank until you’ve reached the end and have beautiful noodles!
Alternatively, use a julienne slicer to cut thin strands of zucchini. Once you’ve reached the seeds in the middle, flip the squash over and start again until you’ve reached the seeds from the other side. Discard the center portion with the seeds.
Place the noodles on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.
“Sweat” the noodles in the oven for 30 minutes until the paper towels have absorbed most of the moisture that the zucchini let. Wrap the paper towels over the noodles and give them a good squeeze to extract any remaining liquid.*
The noodles will be dryer but not soft after step 6 so you will want to cook them further at this point. Add them into your sauce and let them simmer for about 10 minutes for al dente, or 15 for soft and silky.
*Zucchini hold a lot of moisture and will make dishes watery if you add them in uncooked. Step 6 step helps to avoid that.