Last night I went out for dinner for my boyfriend?s birthday. He wanted spaghetti, so that?s what we got ? huge, terrifying portions of spaghetti. I had a pasta primavera (thank god I don?t have a gallbladder anymore, since the sauce was oil-based) with lots of veggies, but I still ate an unwholesome amount of noodles. Delicious, but definitely way too filling.
So fast forward to today, and obviously I want pasta again because it?s the best food. Cue my new spiralizer ? I?ve been talking a big game about it on Instagram lately ? and a zucchini. I?m a little late on the zoodles bandwagon, mostly because I didn?t have the right tool, but also because I was super skeptical that they would be any good. But, uh? I ate both servings that I made. And it was still lighter, fewer calories, and more nutrition than my huge pasta binge yesterday. So I?m a little obsessed, and to everyone that told me I should have tried zoodles in the past: you were right. So right!
The bolognese sauce is made with red lentils. You could use another kind of lentil if you absolutely had to, but the cook time will be much longer. I had actually intended to make this sauce with TVP but I didn?t have any on hand, so you could sub that in too (in which case you?d need much less vegetable stock, if it?s pre-soaked). Also, one spiralized zucchini seems to make enough for two portions, but if you’re starving you can definitely make one per person.
A note on passata: I?m obsessed with it and use it for everything tomato-flavoured. It?s basically just tomato puree that has been strained, so the skins and seeds are removed. I find it sweet and delicious and perfect for sauces where the tomato has to play a prominent role. My favourite is La San Marzano from Costco, which comes in a pack of 6 (I think they?re labeled as tomato sauce in English). I prefer these because of the great flavour, and for the fantastic glass bottles they come in. Plus the price is very good. I swear this isn?t sponsored, I just love the stuff.
The spiralizer that I have is from Think Kitchen, which is a kitchenware store that is mostly located in Canada (but has a handful of international locations). It’s really great, but I couldn’t locate it online. So here is a very comparable spiralizer on Amazon that is well reviewed, and appears to function exactly as mine does. I’m very happy with this particular design! Note that this is an affiliate link, so I get a little kickback from any purchase.
Zucchini Noodles and Red Lentil Bolognese
A rich and hearty tomato sauce made with red lentils, served on raw zucchini noodles made with a spiralizer.
- 1 zucchini
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup diced onion (or one shallot)
- 1 cup passata (strained tomatoes)
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 handful fresh basil leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
Spiralize the zucchinis into small or medium ribbons, and finely chop the garlic.
In a pan, heat up the olive oil and add the diced onion. When it starts to turn clear, add the garlic. After a few minutes, add the lentils, seasoning it with sea salt and pepper. Mix together and then pour in about 3/4 cup of vegetable stock (enough to just cover the lentils). Cover with a lid and let simmer for about 5-6 minutes.
Chiffon the basil leaves. Add the passata to the lentils in the pan, and stir the basil leaves into the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the leftover vegetable stock and stir gently. Allow to simmer for at least 5 minutes.
Plate the zucchini noodles and ladle the sauce overtop. The raw zucchini will steam slightly from the hot sauce, but will remain sturdy with a slight crunch. Garnish with some more basil if you?d like.
Using a fine spiralizer setting, I find that one large zucchini is enough for two people. You can make more if you find you have larger appetites!