Way back when I turned 13, my parents got me Giada de Laurentiis’ Everyday Italian cookbook for my birthday.
I was thrilled, considering I watched Everyday Italian obsessively, every day after school. The first recipe I tried was her Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino. I remember, by some misfortune, I accidentally added too many red pepper flakes — and nearly burned everyone’s mouths off in the process. (I promise no such mistakes were made when testing out this recipe!) However, what was baffling to me was how so few ingredients (truly just olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes) could taste so divine altogether. Looking back as a semi-adult with a full-time job, the flavour:effort ratio is one I can totally get behind.
This aglio olio e peperoncino sauce (try saying that 5 times fast) is a tasty classic, and happens to be fantastic over zoodles. Zoodles are (as you may have already guessed) noodles made out of zucchini — or rather, zucchini spiralized into the shape of noodles. Vegetable spiralizing has become a pretty big trend of late, so it’s rather easy to get your hands on a spiralizer, the tool used to transform zucchini into fun, spaghetti-like noodles. I use this relatively inexpensive one from OXO. Zoodles are a great way to eat your veggies and cut back on carbs, so feel free to load up on the parmesan — guilt-free!
Hint: Just know that your zoodles will reduce like crazy in the pan, and will release a ton of water once you start to cook and salt them. That’s what you want, because the water from the zucchini combines with the oil to create the sauce!
Hint: You can eat these on their own, or add some grilled chicken for a light, balanced weekday meal!
- ¼ c. olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 3 medium zucchini, spiralized
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- Parmesan, for serving
- Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat
- Add minced garlic and red pepper flakes and reduce heat to medium-low
- Sauté for about 5 minutes, until fragrant. Keep a close eye on the garlic, making sure it doesn't burn.
- Add spiralized zucchini and toss, coating the zucchini noodles in the oil.
- Raise heat to medium and season with salt and pepper
- Cook for about 8-11 minutes, or until the zucchini is about the same texture as al dente pasta. The zucchini will reduce and will release a fair bit of water, but this becomes part of the sauce.
- Serve and sprinkle with as much (or as little) parmesan as you'd like