We just finished dinner and I have to say, it was quite the success! We have been given loads of zucchini lately, which is awesome, but also something we’ve never really eaten! We never ate zucchini in Peru, so that’s a solid 4 years without it, and then it wasn’t something I used earlier in our marriage. However, I’m always up for new veggies, so I’ve been figuring out all the different things to do with it. I made zucchini bread with a few raisins the other day and one loaf is gone, the other is in the freezer – SO good Brian couldn’t stop eating it! I made zucchini chips in the oven last night, but I had to make my own bread crumbs and they just weren’t all that great. This evening, I looked for about five minutes online for a dinner recipe that would be vegetarian and after looking and thinking, I came up with this:
::1 onion, diced
::3 cloves of garlic (or 1 good Tbsp of minced garlic)
::1 celery stalk, diced
::2 large zucchini, sliced thin, then diced
::2 grated carrots
::1 can diced tomatoes, with the juice
::1 8oz can of tomato sauce
::1/4c cream cheese
::handful of grated parmesan cheese
::1lb whole wheat pasta
Saute the onion and garlic until fragrant, then add in the rest of the veggies. Saute for about 10 minutes, until getting fork tender. Salt liberally; it will help draw out the moisture from the zucchini. Add pepper, oregano, basil, and chili powder (however much you’d like). When the veggies are getting soft, add in the diced tomatoes and the can of tomato sauce. Add more salt, basil, and a Tablespoon of sugar. Plop in the cream cheese, then pour the sauce into an 8×8 pan. Sprinkle the parm on top and put into a 350 degree oven while you cook the pasta. Start the pasta water when you put the sauce in the oven; cook the pasta to al dente. Drain and add a pad of butter and some garlic powder. Serve the pasta with the zucchini sauce over top and extra parm to add as desired.
I convinced my preschooler this was spaghetti and my husband ate it and then asked afterwards what he’d eaten. We all really liked it! I was concerned about the texture of the zucchini, which is not my favorite. But, sauteing it and then having a good sauce really helped. We have leftovers and it was REALLY good. Enjoy!