Zucchini noodles have become quite popular in our household. They are great substitute for pasta for those who prefer the comfort of a nice spaghetti without the carbs.
Zucchini noodles can be found in most grocery stores and are quite popular with the diet crowd. If one takes a little extra time (and don’t think too deeply), properly prepared zucchini noodles really do resemble the the texture of pasta and tend to lose their veggie aftertaste.
I generally purchase the zucchinis already shaped like noodles, but feel free to purchase whole zucchinis and then use a julienne peeler or spiralizer to get the desired shape.
The secret in using this vegetable as a substitute for pasta is allow the noodles to totally dehydrate before sautéing.
I discovered this useful suggestion when reading Melissa Joulwan’s superb cookbook Well Fed 2 More Paleo Recipes. In her book, Ms. Joulwan recommends placing the drained, salted dry noodles for an additional 1 -2 hours uncovered in a colander in the refrigerator. This allows most of the moisture to disappear and produces al dente noodles.
Found below is a simple recipe incorporating Ms. Joulwan’s zucchini noodle preparation suggestion for Shrimp and zucchini noodles:
Wild Shrimp and al dente Zucchini Noodles
- 4 cups of zucchini noodles
- salt for zucchini noodles
- 1 lb fresh wild shrimp with shells shell and devein before cooking
- 2 to 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup of white wine optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Toss julienned noodles with a generous amount of salt until strands are lightly coated.
- Allow the salted noodles to sit for 20 to 30 minutes to remove water.
- Rinse the noodles, drain well and pat dry.
- Return noodles to colander and place in fridge uncovered for up to two hours.
- Toss zucchini noodles in a non-stick pan until warm and just past tender (1 to 2 minutes)
- Reduce the heat to low and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, stirring to coat the strands.
- Salt and pepper and remove once desired cooking level achieved
- Heat 1 tablespoon of EVOO in skillet till it ripples and then add chopped garlic.
- As the garlic turns golden (one minute) add shrimp until they just turn pink
- Serve shrimp over zucchini noodles (cherry tomatoes in photo are a prop).
- Add wine if desired and cook briefly until shrimp are pink (about 4 to 5 minutes total cooking time)
- Garnish with parsley and lightly add a little more olive oil.