Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Zucchini "Pasta" Primavera

This "pasta" dish is not pasta at all!  It is a delicious, creamy primavera with pancetta over zucchini noodles.  Using a spiral slicer, mandolin or box grater (shred lengthwise), it is easy to create vegetable noodles (see my earlier post to learn how).  Using vegetable noodles (by themselves or mixed with a little gluten free pasta) is one of my greatest carb-lowering tricks.  My pasta-lovin' non-diabetic husband was completely satisfied with this amazing meal and didn't miss the carbs, at all.  I think you'll agree and, like me, return to this healthy recipe again and again.

Zucchini "Pasta" Primavera
(Makes 4 servings)

1/2 TB olive oil
2 large zucchini, made into noodles (about 6 cups)
3 oz. pancetta, diced (omit for meat free version)
1-1/2 cups asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1-1/2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (or 1 TB dried)
1-1/2 cups almond milk
2 TB gluten free flour
1/3 cup sour cream (for a dairy free version, use Tofutti)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (for dairy free, use finely crushed macadamias)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 TB shredded Parmesan cheese (optional topping)

1.  This dish comes together quickly, so have all the vegetables cut up and ready. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over low heat. Add zucchini noodles, season with salt and pepper, cover and allow to steam until beginning to soften, stirring occasionally.  When noodles are just beginning to soften, remove from heat, drain and set aside.

2.  While the zucchini noodles are cooking, prepare the sauce in another skillet.  In a large skillet, cook pancetta over medium heat until fat is rendered and beginning to crisp.  (If not using pancetta, heat 2 TB olive oil.) Add asparagus and broccoli, sauté briefly and cover for a few minutes until vegetables are bright green and tender-crisp.  Using a slotted spoon, remove vegetables and pancetta to a medium bowl; set aside.

3.  Add onions and sauté until translucent.  Add garlic and oregano; sauté until fragrant.  Add gluten free flour and stir constantly until beginning to brown.  Remove from heat and add almond milk while stirring constantly, stir until smooth.  Return to heat and continue cooking and stirring until sauce boils and thickens.  Return vegetables and pancetta to pan.  Add the tomatoes, sour cream, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.  Stir until well combined.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

4.  Add the drained zucchini noodles to the skillet and stir until well coated with the sauce.  Serve immediately topped with shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Nutritional Information per serving: 228 calories, 17 g carbohydrate (4.7 g dietary fiber, 7.2 g sugar), 13.4 g total fat (5.9 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 28 mg cholesterol, 781 mg sodium, 346 mg calcium, 780 mg potassium, 13.2 g protein.

Recipe by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2014

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