Baby is now 7 months old and I am finally beginning to feel like I can tackle a project other than day to day survival with 3 kids! 😉 So, my apologies for the…ahem…YEAR long hiatus! I will be cooking and posting more often.
Here is a recipe I came up with a few weeks ago. I was inspired by a recipe in The Meditteranean Vegan Kitchen where you cook green beans until they are soft enough to roll onto your fork with the pasta noodles. I decided to try it with some julienned zucchini. It was quite enjoyable!
Also, I had just picked up some of the new Daiya cheese and wanted to give that a try. Overall, I’d say it’s pretty good. The flavor is pretty strong so I’d recommend using only small amounts. My husband commented that the look and flavor of it on spaghetti reminded him of the Spaghetti with Mizithra Cheese and browned butter sauce from the Spaghetti Factory. I may have to try recreating that dish sometime soon with Daiya and Earth Balance! If you can’t get Daiya cheese, you can leave it out of this recipe, or substitute with Vegan Gourmet or vegan parmesan.
Here is the recipe:
- 1 lbs whole wheat spaghetti noodles
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 medium zucchini, julienned (sliced into strips)
- 2 14-oz cans petite diced tomatoes (or 1 28-oz can)
- a few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1/4 cup chiffonade-cut basil (tiny ribbons) + more for garnish*
- 1/2 – 1 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts **
- Daiya mozzarella cheese (optional) for garnish
Boil whole wheat spaghetti according to package directions. Drain.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large, heavy-based pan. (A cast-iron skillet works great for this). Sautee garlic until fragrant (about a minute), then add zucchini, diced tomatoes and their liquid, salt, black pepper, and fresh thyme. Simmer for a few minutes until zucchini is soft and taste for seasonings. Add spaghetti, basil, and toasted pine nuts, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with Daiya mozzarella cheese if desired. Divide onto serving plates and garnish with additional basil. Enjoy!
* If you have never done a chiffonade cut, it is really easy! Lay basil leaves flat on top of one another, then roll them up together like a cigar. Take a chef’s knife and cut basil “cigar” into thin slices. Slice once crosswise if you don’t want your strips to be so long. Use your fingers to separate basil into beautiful ribbons! It only takes a minute and produces beautiful results!
** To toast pine nuts, place them on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. If you are in a hurry, you can broil them for a few minutes, but watch closely because they burn easily.