I love a great dish of pasta – whether it is made with real pasta (gluten-free, of course) or a spiralized vegetable like zucchini. Most people think that they are ditching the calories by spiralizing the zucchini then dumping a ton of red sauce or meat sauce on top with cheese. WRONG. The sauce is what is bad for you. Next time, go your garden or produce section for your sauce. Fresh arugula, parsley, lemon, garlic. That’s all you need! You will end up with a healthier, lighter version that is made with no oil, no salt, and can be made gluten-free and vegetarian. And Vegans can skip the cheese. A win-win.
If you are transitioning over to eliminating pasta from your diet, mix gluten-free pasta with spiralized zucchini. And you meat lovers can add crispy pancetta or bacon.
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Lemony Arugula Zucchini Spaghetti
12 ounces dried spaghetti– (this is my favorite gluten free spaghetti)
4 ounces of spiralized zucchini – love this Spiralizer
(If mixing pasta and zucchini, use 6 ounces of spaghetti to two cups zucchini noodles)
1/4 cup organic, low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I buy these in bulk because I use them in all my vegetarian dishes. They go fast!)
2 teaspoons black pepper
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 -1/2 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
3 cups baby Arugula
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Chopped fresh parley to taste
Finely diced and lightly sautéed pancetta or bacon (optional)
1. Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water. Reserve one cup of the pasta water, drain, set aside.
2. With a spiralizer make enough vegetable “spaghetti” (see measurements above)
3. If you are using pancetta or bacon, cook in a large skillet until crisp. Add chicken or vegetable stock, garlic, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. Add the lemon juice to the skillet, then add the drained pasta and zucchini and toss to coat. Add the parm and toss; if it is too dry add pasta water slowly – a tablespoon at a time – just enough to help the cheese coat the pasta. Add the arugula and toss until it wilts, about 1 minute. Season to taste with additional pepper and red pepper flakes. Top with the lemon zest and fresh parsley and add extra parm if you so desire.