I love any dish that replaces a well-known ingredient with a healthier, more calorie-conscious counterpart; and these "zoodles" are no exception! Here, spaghetti is replaced by zucchini strands and meaty bolognese with lentils in a healthy-makeover pasta dish that's perfectly light for summer—plus a great way to take advantage of all the types of squash overflowing at the farmers market right now.
Note: In a time crunch? Buy precooked lentils and prepared marinara sauce instead of making your own from scratch for a meal that's truly ready in minutes. (Adapted from Sonnet's Kitchen) —KvellintheKitchen
dried French lentils
olive oil, divided
cup yellow onion, diced
28 oz can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
red wine or balsamic vinegar
hot red pepper flakes
2 large or 3 medium zucchini, spiralized into pasta
In a medium pot, bring lentils and 1 cup of water to boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until lentils are tender and liquid is evaporated, about 20 minutes. (It’s ok if they aren’t cooked through—they will cook more later on.)
Meanwhile, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic cloves and sauté for an additional minute, until fragrant.
3. Add the tomatoes (drained, if not using sauce), sugar, vinegar, basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Simmer on low for 10-15 minutes.
When lentils have absorbed the water (but are still slightly firm), add them to the sauce and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
In a separate pan, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the zucchini pasta* for 2- 5 minutes. Err on the side of underdone—you don’t want to overcook them, because they may become liquidy.
Divide the pasta into two portions and top with lentil marinara. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, garnished with parsley.
*"Spaghetti" can be achieved by using a spiralizer (I use the Gefu Spirelli Spiral Slicer), or peeled into slivers using a vegetable peeler.