So I’m going to PALM SPRINGS (or as I like to call it, PALM SPRAAAANGS) this upcoming weekend! Why? To celebrate my girl Jordan’s birthday. Also because Palm Springs is generally one of my favorite places ever. (Well, technically we’re staying in a sick crib in Palm Desert, not Springs, but let’s not worry about semantics right now.)
One thing about Palm Springs/Desert in the summer: we’re looking at triple digits. Yes, even hotter than Austin this time of year. Meaning we’re also looking at bathing suits and lots of time wearing as little as possible. So the food consumption needs to be on lockdown in the days preceding this weekend soujourn.
Enter: the spiralizer.
I think this recipe is my most successful spiralizer creation to date, or at least a huge favorite in my household (aka, just me, Rob, and our dog who desperately whines and begs for the chicken sausage). I don’t really know what to name it – I was thinking “Zucchini Noodle Puttanesca” or something but this isn’t even close to being an authentic puttanesca. There’s no capers or anchovies (although you definitely could add some if you were in the mood!). So I guess I can just tell you it’s vaguely Italian-inspired, with a briny, garlicky tomato sauce, healthy protein from organic chicken sausage, and a bit of salty, creamy cheeeese to round it out. What’s not to love?!
(or, “Italian-ish Zoodles”)
4 zucchinis – zucchini? I’m having an internal debate about the pluralization here. I’ve heard that either is acceptable.
1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
1 cup crimini mushrooms, quartered
1 cup diced yellow or white onion
1/2 cup black olives (good ones – find something you love from the olive bar!)
4 cloves garlic, minced (or less if you don’t love garlic as much as I do, but… I recommend at least 4 cloves, personally)
2 links organic chicken sausage – I love Blinski’s, esp the Wild Mushroom & Italian Herb verison
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon concentrated tomato paste (the kind that comes in a tube, sometimes found in your “International” or Italian area of the store instead of where the rest of the generic canned tomato products are)
handful of julienned fresh basil
1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles
salt, pepper, and red chili flakes to taste
Bust out your spiralizer (I have this Paderno variety and it’s great) and put it on a medium spiral setting – you’re wanting the thickness of your average spaghetti. Spiralize like crazy, then set the zoodles aside in your serving bowl.
Put a large saucepan on medium heat and add your oil, onions, and garlic. Once they’re translucent, about 3-5 minutes, add in your olives, mushrooms, and sausage. If you’re using the same type of chicken sausage I do, it’s pre-cooked so you don’t need to spend a lot of time or caution cooking it separately. Just heat ‘er up in the pan with everything else!
Once everything is cooked through, about 10 more minutes, add in the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and basil. Bring to a quick boil then turn the heat down to low. Add salt, pepper, and red chili flakes to taste.
Pour the sauce & vegetable mixture over the zoodles. The heat from the sauce should be enough to warm and soften the zoodles. Toss together with a few light handfuls of your crumbled cheese and grind a little fresh black pepper on top, and you’re set to go! If you’re feeling fancy, give it a little drizzle a bit of olive oil (or sundried tomato oil if you have it, which I did, and it was awesome).
This technically makes 2-4 servings but of course Rob and I split this entire recipe, which means we ate two entire zucchinis each – kind of weird if you think about it. I actively avoided zucchini and thought it was “boring” until I discovered the blessing of a spiralizer. And now… I can’t imagine life without my beloved zoodles!