I've been playing around with some of my favorite pasta recipes and subbing in zoodles. While zucchini noodles aren't quite as good as indulging in the real thing, they are still SO GOOD. With hearty, saucy dishes, you almost can't even tell that the noodles you're twirling on your fork are made from a vegetable.
This Rachel Ray recipe was a staple in the apartment I shared with my dear friend, Ashley. The sauce tastes even better the second day and last night, I added some roasted eggplant for a little bit of a different texture. Eggplant seems to scare some away, but it is one of my favorite vegetables to roast. I love the buttery texture and the simple flavors when it's roasted with a robust olive oil and salt and pepper. Cooking Light is featuring some great techniques this month to give you more inspiration for incorporating this purple vegetable into your menu.
Sausage, White Bean and Roasted Eggplant Ragout + Zoodles
recipe adapted from Rachel Ray
1.5 lbs. sweet pork Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 can (14.5 oz.) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
Handful fresh basil, chiffonade
1 small eggplant, cut into large chunks
3-4 zucchinis, spiralized or cut using a mandoline slicer
Salt + pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss the chopped eggplant with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (to help with sticking) and spread eggplant evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until eggplant is soft and roasted.
In a large, heavy bottom sauce pan on medium heat, cook sausage. Break up the meat as it browns. When the sausage is cooked, add onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes, beans, basil and season with salt and pepper, and turn heat down to low. Cover and let the sauce simmer.
Once your zoodles have been cut, place in a large saute pan and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil. Saute for 3-5 minutes, using tongs to turn and toss, until zoodles are slightly soft.
When the eggplant is done cooking, mix in with the sauce and toss in zoodles! Garnish with freshly grated Romano and red pepper flakes.