Light, lemony, lovely. Another keeper for the Meatless Monday (or any day) file. Becoming a huge fan of substituting spiralized zucchini for half of the pasta in recipes. The flavor is elevated in this dish by squeezing half a lemon over the finished product just before serving.
2 medium zucchini
2 cloves garlic
28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
4-5 big handfuls of baby spinach
1 TBS of olive oil, pinch of sugar, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 of a lemon
1/2 pound of thin spaghetti or linguini fini
Optional (but really good) garnishes to sprinkle on top of your dish of pasta/zucchini ribbons:
chopped, toasted walnuts
chopped kalamata olives
grated Parmesan cheese
1. Spiralize the zucchini using the “spaghetti” blade. Trim to appropriate lengths. Place in a colander, sprinkle with a bit of salt and let drain.
2. Spiralize (or thinly slice) an onion. Mince the garlic.
3. Saute the onion in a tablespoon of olive oil until it softens. Season with a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
4. Add the can of tomatoes with the juice. Crush the tomatoes and blend with the onions. Add a pinch of sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook until the juice is reduced by about half.
5. Add the spinach leaves and stir to combine.
5. Boil the pasta in salted water until it’s al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in case you need to lighten the sauce. Pour the cooked pasta, water and all, over the zucchini that’s resting in the colander. Return to the pot.
6. Add the pasta/zucchini mixture to the tomato/spinach sauce. Stir well.
7. Squeeze a half lemon over the finished pasta dish. Stir to combine.
8. Serve with additional garnishes, and let people add what they wish.