I’ve made this side dish a few times now and I realized, earlier today, that it had been awhile since I last updated the blog. The first time I make any recipe, I always make sure to follow the recipe to the letter. After making it several times, my creative side tends to shine through and I find myself adding this or that and making the recipe my own. Zucchini Ribbon Pasta is a healthy side dish option for chicken or fish.
The recipe calls for chicken broth and it is used to cook the zucchini ribbons and finish cooking off the pasta. The first time I made this recipe, it sort of reminded me of a deconstructed chicken noodle soup. The chicken broth ends up turning into a nice sauce for the noodles and zucchini ribbons, so if you were to serve this with carrot ribbons and a chicken breast, this could definitely be a version of deconstructed chicken noodle soup. I added onions to the recipe because I like how the flavors compliment the garlic that is used in the recipe as well. I use anywhere from a half to a whole yellow onion. Just slice in half and then slice into half rings. Add some olive oil to the pot and cook the onions first because the zucchini ribbons and garlic don’t take all that long to cook and you just need to finish cooking the pasta with the vegetables and that should only take 2-4 minutes. When the onions are cooked, they turn into the same shape as the fettuccine and zucchini; I like to keep the theme of the original recipe when I make it my own. I use 2 green and 2 yellow zucchinis and I find that with the onion and if you decide to use carrot as well, it is definitely enough vegetable to pasta ratio. I use the entire pkg of fettuccine (1 lb) because I don’t like dealing with random amounts of leftover pasta. I also don’t buy whole wheat pasta but using whole wheat anything is usually the healthier option, so do what you got to do.
I also like to throw in whatever grated cheese I have in the fridge; usually Parmesan and Romano. If you save a little bit of the pasta water before draining, it helps the sauce coat the pasta better. I also was going through my cupboard (Yeah, just the one. Not a lot of kitchen storage in my apartment.) and I saw that I’m about 3/4 of the way through a thing of bread crumbs. I heated up some olive oil in a non-stick skillet and toasted the bread crumbs and added it to the pasta along with the grated cheese. It was about 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 cup of bread crumbs. The store bought bread crumbs are nice if you’re short on time and need help seasoning something but if you are going for a healthier version, make you’re own and season them yourself that way you can control the amount of salt you are adding to the dish.
I use a vegetable peeler to make the zucchini ribbons because I’m not all fancy like Food Network thinks I am. I don’t know
many people anyone who owns a mandoline slicer, but personally, it’s about 10 places down on my list of kitchen equipment I want to one day own. My point is: a vegetable peeler works just fine. The recipe says that you can get 4 servings out of this dish, but I think if you are serving it as a side dish, you could probably get 5 servings out of it.
I like this dish because it reminds me of chicken noodle soup. When the weather starts to get cold and people around you start getting sick, chicken noodle soup becomes people’s go to meal. Instead of making soup, I suggest serving some chicken with this yummy side dish.