Zucchini has long shared the culinary stage with its natural counterpart: yellow summer squash. But zucchini seems to be undergoing a real identity crisis, as it's been showing up in lasagna and underneath meatballs, too. So, if you question whether zucchini a vegetable or pasta, the answer is yes; it works as both when it's cut to resemble thin spaghetti noodles.
Peel the zucchini skin and then cut it into thin strips that resemble spaghetti noodles with a vegetable peeler. Achieve the same effect with a mandolin -- though extra care should be taken with the sharp blades -- or with a vegetable "spiralizer." This nifty tool will produce zucchini ribbons with the turn of a crank.
Place the zucchini strands in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook the zucchini on high for two minutes, uncovered, or for about three or four minutes if you cover it with plastic wrap.
Drain the water from the zucchini spaghetti in a colander. Pour a little olive oil on the spaghetti and stir to prevent the spaghetti from becoming clumped and mushy.
Toss the zucchini with a little garlic salt or basil. Less is usually more with zucchini spaghetti, though it may be difficult to resist adding red onion, mushrooms and sweet tomatoes, depending on how you're planning to serve it. With a little marinara sauce on top, your zucchini spaghetti just might pass for the "real" thing.
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Butternut Squash vs. Spaghetti Squash
- Consider making spaghetti strands from yellow summer squash and combining it with the zucchini for added nutrition -- and a splash of contrasting color.
Mary Wroblewski earned a master's degree with high honors in communications and has worked as a reporter and editor in two Chicago newsrooms. She launched her own small business, which specialized in assisting small business owners with “all things marketing” – from drafting a marketing plan and writing website copy to crafting media plans and developing email campaigns. Mary writes extensively about small business issues, and especially “all things marketing.”