You know what my favorite kitchen gadget is this summer? A spiralizer, or a spiral vegetable slicer. It’s basically a lathe that lets you turn a cylindrical vegetable such as a zucchini or sweet potato, into “noodles”, or in the case of zucchini, “zoodles”.
I love pasta as much as anyone, but the truth is my body will not cooperate and let me eat as much pasta as I want without undesired consequences. So, the idea of making noodles with zucchini? Tempting, but could it possibly be as good as pasta?
Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby announce that zucchini noodles, at least cooked the way I’ve prepared them in this casserole, are shockingly good.
This cheesy baked zucchini noodle casserole is like baked spaghetti, but with zucchini noodles instead of spaghetti. The flavor of zucchini is terrific with the tomato, onion, garlic, sausage, and cheeses.
You can even twirl the “zoodles” on your fork! The noodle shape almost tricks your mouth into thinking you are eating spaghetti. But you aren’t. This is gluten-free, low carb, and completely satisfying.
In this version we are adding sweet Italian sausage to the tomato sauce, but you could easily make it vegetarian by using cubed eggplant or sliced mushrooms instead of the sausage.
The main complaint that people have when cooking with zucchini noodles is that they end up mushy. My approach to how to deal with this is to salt the zucchini noodles well and let them drain of their excess moisture.
You can easily get 1/2 cup of zucchini water out of the zucchini just from letting them sit over a colander or sieve. Then, before adding them to the sauce, place the noodles in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze the heck out of them (this technique works with hash browns too).
So, this is my new favorite way to cook with zucchini noodles? Have you experimented with them? Please let me know in the comments what has worked or not worked for you.