I made this on Saturday, and it was easy, delicious, and filling. I just wanted you to know. If you find yourself with some nice chunks of lamb, I recommend giving it a try. And don't leave out the yogurt. But that is not what this post is about, it's about pasta.
Firstly, let me apologize for my terrible photo. I still haven't figured out this whole lighting situation. I'll keep trying.
Secondly, you might be thinking, "pasta?! I thought you weren't eating grains?" And you would be right, I'm not. One of the things I was most worried about eliminating from my diet was pasta. We had some sort of pasta at least once a week. It's so versatile and economical, and you can make a big pot and enjoy the leftovers for days. Still, I was committed, and I mostly don't miss pasta. Sometimes, though, I have a craving for a nice, meaty, tomato-y, Bolognese sauce. So this is what I do when the craving strikes.
I found that obnoxious orange julienne peeler at World Market, and it's such a great little tool. Using it on a nice big zucchini yields perfect, spaghetti-sized strands. Just run it down the length of your squash, turn and continue all the way to the seeds in the middle. At that point I usually stop. You can chop that bit up and use it in soups or salads, or give it to the chickens. Mine always come running when I open the back door and toss some scraps out. It's the best garbage disposal ever!
To cook the spaghetti, I warm up a little olive oil in a sauce pan or small skillet. Add the zucchini and season lightly with salt. Then just toss gently in the oil to coat it lightly. Continue tossing until it's softened and heated through. It only takes a few minutes. Serve with your favorite sauce, that's all there is to it!
Here's my (probably very un-authentic) Bolognese sauce:
Chop an onion and mince a clove or two of garlic. Heat some olive oil in a large skillet or soup pot, over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and saute until the onions are tender. Add about a pound of good ground beef (grass-fed, if you can get it). Cook, stirring regularly, until the meat is browned and almost cooked through. Add tomato sauce or your favorite marinara sauce. I get marinara sauce at Trader Joe's, the kind in the green can. It's inexpensive and the ingredients are simple (tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, I think). Add herbs to taste. I use fresh and dried, depending what I have on hand. For this batch I chopped up some fresh basil and crumbled in some dried oregano. And then, add the secret ingredient: a generous drizzle of a decent balsamic vinegar. Now just let your sauce simmer for as long as you can stand to wait, and stir occasionally. I can usually let it simmer for a half hour or so, with the occasional taste, just to make sure it's coming along nicely.
Get your zucchini ready, and top it with a big spoonful of sauce. It may sound crazy, but I really do prefer this to pasta now. It has more flavor.
Yes, I know I could use spaghetti squash, and I have. I do like it, but it has a sweeter flavor, so with this type of sauce I really prefer the zucchini. Plus, this is much quicker and easier to prepare.
Are my non-recipe recipes helpful or annoying? If they are annoying, I suppose I could try making up some measurements :)