Zucchini Noodle Pasta Recipe

by Isabella Buitron
0 comment

A little twist on a not so Italian dish, this Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Marinara Sauce and Meatless Meatballs is a healthy take on the American dish of Spaghetti and Meatballs. This three ingredient recipe will leave you in awe.

Spaghetti and Meatballs is a famed, perhaps surprisingly, American dish. While it can be high in carbs there is a healthy alternative, Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Marinara and Meatless Meatballs. This remake of a traditional dish stays true to the original dish by maintaining a similar flavor just with a modernized take. The zucchini noodles, even once cooked, bring about a fresh crispness. It is like the morning air on those early fall days. This dish which is lightly doused in marinara sauce finds itself perfectly complimented when topped with meatballs. While cooking the aroma that wafts from the simmering dish brings a promise exceeding satisfaction. Each stir that transpires from your wooden spoon is a secretive transaction between it, and your three ingredients. This meal, so delightful in taste, seems like a miracle dish discovered. Each flavorfilled bite is a private getaway to a savory dream.

Background:

One of the enthralling factors incorporated with cooking is the experimentation that comes along with it. It is art on an edible medium. Food has seen constant reinventions that transpire between the passing along of recipes between generations. Just like there are fashion fads, food has seen many trends. While some styles come and go, zucchini noodle pasta is here to stay. This dish is so easy to make that after one go, you’ll know the recipe like the back of your hand. Now, an essential question that many of you may be asking: How do I make the zucchini noodles? Well there are exciting chef’s toys that facilitate the process, all you have to do is turn a handle or insert the zucchini into a machine. 

Depending on how serious you get about your noodle making allows you to choose the intensity of your noodle making machine. Some devices come with different blades and others allow you to simply insert the zucchini and have your noodles made in the press of a button. Either way, the process is fun and intriguing to partake in, especially if it is your first time making a noodle other than that of traditional pasta. The fresh veggie being the main ingredient makes health a forefront of your meal, however, quality and taste are sure not to be sacrificed. The modern zucchini noodle that promiscuously grabs your attention by pure curiosity and the well-known marinara sauce that holds it lures you in with each inviting smell and captivating taste.

Zucchini Noodle Pasta Ingredients:

First, let’s chat ingredients…

  • Zucchini: One zucchini makes enough noodles for one serving.
  • Sauce: Any sauce works whether it be vodka, marinara, or you can use just olive oil if you want to keep it simple. (I used marinara sauce. I found it tastes best since I later add in meatless meatballs).
  • Meatballs: For the “protein” you can use meatballs or the vegetarian styled ones. (I use the meatless meatballs by Gardein).
  • Salt:  Use a little less than a spoonful of salt to sprinkle onto the zucchini noodles. This helps add flavor and remove any excess water they may be carrying.
  • Parmesan Cheese. Top your pasta with the desired amount of parmesan cheese.

How To Make Zucchini Noodle Pasta:

  • Prepare the Zucchini. To first prepare the zucchini you will need to wash it. Then before placing it in your zucchini noodle making machine, cut off both ends of the zucchini
  • Put the Zucchini Machine Together. If you use the OXO Tabletop Spiralizer, it is important to choose the green blade to get spaghetti shaped noodles. Then push one end of the zucchini into the top, circular part, of the blade. Then using the opposite end of the machine that has spikes on a circular piece controlled by the handle, push it into the other end of the zucchini
  • Make Zucchini Noodles. Then in a continuous motion spin the handle until you begin to see noodles protruding from the machine. Continue spinning the handle until there is less than half an inch of zucchini left. At that point, you can stop and your noodles are ready for the next step.
  • Drain excess water from the noodles. When I first started making this recipe I used to put the freshly cut noodles on the pan immediately after I had made them. Then after further research, I found it is best to put the noodles in a colander for 10-30 minutes and sprinkle a little bit under a spoonful of salt on them. This is to allow excess water that is retained by the zucchini to drain for faster more efficient cooking. If you are in a rush, or just prefer not to wait, you can dry the noodles using a paper towel. The longer you allow the noodles to sit soaking in salt in the colander the more water that will drain. 

Continued Cooking Instructions…

  • Preheat meatless meatballs. For the protein portion, you can use any meat you like. However, since I am pescatarian I have always resorted to meatless meatballs. I typically use four for one serving. I place them in a small glass bowl and select the defrost option on the microwave. Since I am removing my meatless meatballs from the freezer, I first place them in the microwave on the defrost setting in a glass bowl, before cooking them in a pan. This can be done while you let the excess water drain from the zucchini noodles.
  • Cook meatless meatballs. After the meatless meatballs have been softened through the defrost option on the microwave you can place them on a pan on the stove on medium heat. I like them to be half-cooked before placing the zucchini noodles on the pan as the noodles cook quicker than the meatballs. This usually takes 8-10 minutes.
  • Add Noodles and Sauce to Pan. After the meatless meatballs have been cooked for 8-10 minutes the noodles can be added in. The noodles and meatballs can then cook for another 8-10 minutes. After the total of 20 minutes cooking time, I then add in the marinara sauce to the pan to heat it. I give an extra 2-5 minutes to allow the sauce to heat. While adding in the sauce, I stir the three ingredients to ensure the proper proportion of marinara is added. 
  • Remove Ingredients From the Pan. At this point, the three ingredients are usually mixed together. However, if you are looking to style your meal in an appealing presentation, you can separate the meatballs from the noodles and sauce while in the pan. Then using your spoon, you can serve the noodles, placing it on the plate in a circular shape. After you have distributed the zucchini noodles you can then place your meatballs on top for an attractive display. You can add parmesan cheese if you want extra flavor.

Notes:

This recipe can be revised to appeal to keto, vegetarian, pescatarian, and meat-eating diets. If you are looking to keep the recipe keto, instead of adding marinara and meatless meatballs you can just use salt and olive oil as your sauce. Furthermore, if you are looking for a vegetarian/pescatarian meal, the protein used can be meatless meatballs or any other meatless meat (meatless chicken is one possible substitute). If you would like your protein to be meat-based, you can use real meatballs, chicken, or any other meat you may desire.

Get the scoop on more delicious recipes:

Zucchini Noodle Pasta

Zucchini Noodle Pasta

A little twist on a not so Italian dish, this Zucchini Noodle Pasta with Marinara Sauce and Meatless Meatballs is a healthy take on the American dish of Spaghetti and Meatballs. This three-ingredient recipe will leave you in awe.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • Zucchini
  • Salt
  • Marinara Sauce
  • Meatless Meatballs
  • Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

    1. Prepare the Zucchini. To first prepare the zucchini you will need to wash it. Then before placing it in your zucchini noodle making machine, cut off both ends of the zucchini.
    2. Put the Zucchini Machine Together. If you use the OXO Tabletop Spiralizer, it is important to choose the green blade to get spaghetti shaped noodles. Then push one end of the zucchini into the top, circular part, of the blade. Then using the opposite end of the machine that has spikes on a circular piece controlled by the handle, push it into the other end of the zucchini.
    3. Make Zucchini Noodles. Then in a continuous motion spin the handle until you begin to see noodles protruding from the machine. Continue spinning the handle until there is less than half an inch of zucchini left. At that point, you can stop and your noodles are ready for the next step.
    4. Drain excess water from the noodles. When I first started making this recipe I used to put the freshly cut noodles on the pan immediately after I had made them. Then after further research, I found it is best to put the noodles in a colander for 10-30 minutes and sprinkle a little bit under a spoonful of salt on them. This is to allow excess water that is retained by the zucchini to drain for faster more efficient cooking. If you are in a rush, or just prefer not to wait, you can dry the noodles using a paper towel. The longer you allow the noodles to sit soaking in salt in the colander the more water that will drain.
    5. Preheat meatless meatballs. For the protein portion, you can use any meat you like. However, since I am pescatarian I have always resorted to meatless meatballs. I typically use four for one serving. I place them in a small glass bowl and select the defrost option on the microwave. Since I am removing my meatless meatballs from the freezer, I first place them in the microwave on the defrost setting in a glass bowl, before cooking them in a pan. This can be done while you let the excess water drain from the zucchini noodles.
    6. Cook meatless meatballs. After the meatless meatballs have been softened through the defrost option on the microwave you can place them on a pan on the stove on medium heat. I like them to be half-cooked before placing the zucchini noodles on the pan as the noodles cook quicker than the meatballs. This usually takes 8-10 minutes.
    7. Add Noodles and Sauce to Pan. After the meatless meatballs have been cooked for 8-10 minutes the noodles can be added in. The noodles and meatballs can then cook for another 8-10 minutes. After the total of 20 minutes cooking time, I then add in the marinara sauce to the pan to heat it. I give an extra 2-5 minutes to allow the sauce to heat. While adding in the sauce, I stir the three ingredients to ensure the proper proportion of marinara is added.
    8. Remove Ingredients From the Pan. At this point, the three ingredients are usually mixed together. However, if you are looking to style your meal in an appealing presentation, you can separate the meatballs from the noodles and sauce while in the pan. Then using your spoon, you can serve the noodles, placing it on the plate in a circular shape. After you have distributed the zucchini noodles you can then place your meatballs on top for an attractive display. You can add parmesan cheese if you want extra flavor.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.