Have your pasta and eat it too!

One of my most favorite things in the world is pasta.  Seriously, if I could eat it everyday (without blowing up like a big bloated balloon) I would.  When I'm talking food with coaching clients they ask, what do you do about pasta? Meaning, what do you substitute for pasta or do you only eat whole wheat  or do you not eat it all.  I eat pasta, probably once a week or more but there are ways to limit the amount you eat and still be fully satisfied.  One way is to load it up with meat and veggies (or just veggies) so that the pasta is lesser part of what you're eating.  My new favorite thing is to make zucchini noodles and mix it with spaghetti to stretch it.  It's a little more filling than straight up zucchini but you're eat much less pasta than you would otherwise.  Here's what we threw together last night (this is a nice quick one for a week night). 

Throwing dinner together is much easier, quicker and less stressful when you get your goods all prepped and ready to go first.  Start a pot of salted water for your pasta and get chopping. This is 4 medium zucchinis that were run through the Veghetti (a Spiralizer is another option but is more expensive and takes up more space in the cupboard), 1 and a half pints of cherry tomatoes, 1 chopped onion, four cloves of garlic that were eventually pressed, minced would work too of course.  Oh, and my glass of red wine.   

I know this looks like a ton of zucchini but it cooks down quite a bit due to the high water content.

Once you have the basics covered (tomato, onion, garlic) you can add in whatever you have handy or whatever flavors suit you.  I added a quarter cup of sun dried tomatoes, a couple of anchovies and a large handful of basil.  You could add your favorite herbs, leave out anchovies and add olives or capers....no rules, just what you like.

Start your sauce by sauteing the onions and garlic (and anchovies if using) until they are softened, then add in your tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes (if using) and cook until the tomatoes start to break down a little.  Toss in your chopped basil (or herbs of choice).

At this point your water is boiling and you've put 8 ounces of spaghetti in the pot and you're cooking it to a nice al dente.  You can just drain the pasta when it's done and set it aside.  Add the zucchini noodles to the sauce and cover to let them cook down a bit.  Stir occasionally.  

Once the zucchini is cooked to a nice al dente also, add in the spaghetti and mix well.

I served it up with a touch of Parmesan cheese and a poached egg, because we're into that sort of thing.  The zucchini blends right in with the pasta for a delicious veggie packed not over the top heavy pasta dinner.  You won't feel like you've blown it with this pasta dinner, give it a try! 

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