This all-vegetable version of traditional spaghetti gives the option of using traditional grain pasta (I like brown rice pasta), or using fresh zucchini “noodles,” which are easily created using a mandolin (a type of vegetable slicer) or spiral slicer.
- For the pasta:
- 1 package spaghetti pasta (12 ounces) or 6 medium zucchini (about 7 inches each)
- 1 ounce walnuts, cashews, or pine nuts, ground (about ¼ cup; for optional garnish)
- For the Marinara Sauce:
- 8 medium cremini or white mushrooms, sliced (about 3 cups)
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic (4 or 5 medium cloves)
- 2 cans diced tomatoes (14.5 ounces each; about 3 cups total), undrained
- 1 can tomato paste (6 ounces)
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian herb seasoning
- ½ cup loosely packed fresh basil, chopped
- Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a large frying pan or soup pot over medium-high heat. When the water starts to sputter, add the mushrooms and onions, and cook while stirring for about 5 minutes, adding a little water, as needed, to prevent sticking. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes (including liquid), tomato paste, and Italian herbs. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- While the sauce is simmering, prepare the noodles. If you are using a whole-grain pasta, cook it according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cool water, and set aside. If you are making zucchini noodles, see step 4.
- Use a mandolin or spiral slicer to create thin, matchstick-sized zucchini strands. If you want to cook the zucchini "noodles" slightly (you can also eat them raw), place them into a pot of low-boiling water, and cook for 1 to 3 minutes, or until they are tender but not falling apart (undercooked is better than overcooked). Drain and set aside.
- Stir the basil into the sauce. You can add the cooked pasta or zucchini noodles to the simmering sauce, or keep the noodles and sauce separate, ladling the sauce over each plate of noodles just before serving. Serve as is or topped with finely ground nuts (use a rotary cheese grater to create a parmesan cheese-like topping).
Nutrition Information (for pasta with optional nut garish): Serving size: 1/4 recipe, Calories: 470, Fat: 6.6g, Saturated fat: 0.8g, Carbohydrates: 91.6g, Sugar: 14.7g, Sodium: 72mg, Fiber: 13.2g, Protein: 19.8g, Cholesterol: 0
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