The austere zucchini noodles have spread a vision of no-carb cooking across the Internet. While delicious, I must admit that they never quite match the visions I dream up, when I hear the words zucchini pasta.
However, if you hide some real pasta in the zucchinis something wonderful happen. Add a creamy goats cheese sauce and a crunch garlicky topping… Well you get the picture. —Lise
Zucchini pasta with goat’s cheese sauce
(4 oz.) spaghetti (I really like the darker flavour and chewy texture of whole wheat pasta in this recipe)
small firm zucchinis
(1.8 oz.) soft goats cheese
juice of half a lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper
almonds, roughly chopped
panko or other rough breadcrumbs (You could leave these out and double the amount of almonds, but the two very different crunchy textures are much more interesting than only one.)
Start with the crunchy topping.
Heat butter and almonds in a small frying pan over medium heat. When the almonds are just starting to turn colour round the edges add the breadcrumbs, garlic and thyme. Fry on medium low heat for about 10 min. until all is toasty, crunchy and golden brown. Do keep an eye on the pan; there is a fine line between browned and burned. Season and drain on kitchen paper.
With a spiralizer, julienne slicer or similar contraption cut the zucchinis into long thin ”noodles”. You may want to discard the centres of the zucchinis if they are wet, spongy or full of seeds.
Cook the spaghetti in plenty of salted water until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta and return to the pot.
Mix the goats cheese and reserved pasta water to a thick sauce. Add lemon juice and season with salt and plenty of freshly.
Add the sauce and the zucchini to the pasta and toss carefully, making sure that everything is covered with the sauce. Let it heat through for a minute or two, until the zucchini is just stating to wilt. You may want to heat it on very low heat, if there isn’t sufficient residual heat in the pasta and the pot.
Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice, and serve with a generous sprinkling of crunchy almond topping.