I have another fantastic summer recipe for you. Of course, you can make it all year round, but these ingredients are so fresh and bursting with summer flavor that I find myself craving Zoodles with Scampi & Spinach always more during beach season. The fact that this dish is low-calorie on top of gluten-free and dairy-free doesn’t hurt at all!
I ❤️ ZOODLES, BUT…
Confession: I love zoodles, but I would lie if I said they can replace spaghetti in any recipe. I mean, I’m Italian for gut’s sake; you can’t fool my palate that easily 😉 Having said that, they might not be the star of my culinary world, but in this Zoodles with Scampi & Spinach recipe they are a fantastic understudy. Trust me on this one; I’m really picky when it comes to anything related to Italian cuisine. The reason being that in this recipe there is no sauce, so there is no risk to end up with soggy zoodles. The zucchini spirals are lightly sauteed in olive oil just like the rest of the ingredients. Therefore, this dish all comes together harmoniously and without breaking or smashing the zoodles.
ZOODLES FOR PASTA LOVERS
So, how does a die-hard pasta lover like myself prepare zoodles in a manner that can fool her palate? Through trial and error, I’ve learned a couple of simple tricks that can make or break zoodles for me. Super simple steps that will make all the difference. Here they are:
- Buy Fresh Zucchini. It seems obvious, I know. But before you “duh!” me, read further. If you’re making soup or stew, it’s okay to use fresh enough zucchini with a slight give when you press them. But not for zoodles. For zoodles, you need extra firm and crunchy zucchini. First of all, it’ll be much easier to spiralize your zucchini when they’re unyielding, making your job quicker and painless. In addition and more importantly, the zucchini spirals will not sog and melt in your sauce, especially if you’re using them in wet or brothy dishes.
- Use the right Spiralizer. This is a lesson I had to learn, and 3 was the charm. As in the third spiralizer I purchased was finally the right one for the job. This is the one I’m using now and believe it’s the best one for the price. I use the 5 mm blade to make thick zoodles that stay firm through the cooking process without turning to mush.
- Make Thick Spirals. Why? Two reasons:
- For one, you’re trying to replace your beloved real-deal spaghetti, right? So, your zoodles need to be al dente just like the real thing for your palate to recognize the consistency as legit. The only way you’ll have crunchy, al dente zoodles is if you spiralize very fresh zucchini with the wider set of blades in your spiralizer. Don’t use the thin set because then your zoodles will not come out convincing enough once cooked.
- For two, the thicker the zoodles the better their flavor at the end of the cooking process. When the zoodles are too thin it’s inevitable to overcook them. Unfortunately, cooking them through will allow for the zucchini flavor to fully develop. I don’t know about you, but I want to believe the fairy tale when I make zoodles. That fairy tale is that I’m having a bowl of real spaghetti made with “semola di grano duro” (I’m drooling 🤤). When the zoodles are thick and al dente, barely sauteed or seared, their flavor will be neutral, almost like authentic pasta, and will not interfere with your sauce or condiments. Basically, I don’t want to taste zucchini spirals when I’m pretending I’m having pasta. Makes sense?
YOUR SHOPPING LIST
Zoodles with Scampi & Spinach is a quick and easy recipe. You will need:
🍤 Medium Shrimp (peeled and deveined)
🍤 Zucchini cut into noodles
🍤 Fresh Baby Spinach
🍤 Italian parsley, chopped
🍤 Onion, chopped
🍤 Garlic, minced
🍤 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
🍤 Himalayan Salt & Black Pepper
TIP FOR MY AIP PEEPS
I’m happy to say that except for the sprinkle of black pepper, this recipe is 100% Paleo and AIP compliant. If you are currently following the Autoimmune Protocol, go ahead and leave out the black pepper. You’ll love how tasty and rich this healthy recipe will come out in your kitchen.
Talk is cheap, let’s make some zoodles! Watch how easy it is to make this one-pan dish.
Grab the recipe below. I really hope you’ll give these zoodles a try because I know you’ll love them as much as I do.
Zoodles with Scampi & Spinach
- 1 lb shrimp medium, deveined and peeled
- 3 zucchini large and cut into noodles or spiralized
- 4 cups spinach baby spinach, fresh
- 4 tbsp parsley Italian flat leaf, chopped
- 1 onion large, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt adjust to taste
- 1/2 tsp black pepper optional; adjust to taste
- 1 lemon juiced
- Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter in a large pan
- Saute the onion and garlic until soft and barely golden
- Add zoodles and stir frequently for 3-5 minutes or until “al dente”
- Sprinkle some salt and pepper
- Remove everything from the pan and keep in a large pasta serving bowl
- Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and saute the shrimp
- As soon as they are pink, add the spinach and stir until they wilt
- Remove from stove and pour everything on top of the zoodles
- Add the parsley and lemon juice and toss it all together
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