Saturday, December 3, 2011

Homemade Sauce w Zucchini Noodles

The kids begged me for "my red sauce" and pasta tonight. It's rare for them to have much of an opinion about the menu, so when they do make a request I try to oblige. They had a little brown rice pasta and parmesan that didn't make it to my bowl, but we all enjoyed my homemade sauce.

I can't really take full credit for the recipe, as it evolved from Cooking Light's Ultimate Quick-and-Easy Pasta Sauce. I've never made it exactly as written, though, and through the years have tweaked and fiddled in various ways.

For the sugar I use a packet of stevia; I do like the contrast of the sweet with the tang of the balsamic vinegar, but you could always omit sweetener altogether. I feel the sauce is always better with fresh basil, but I didn't have any on hand so had to resort to dried. I always skip the parsley and usually add a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes to my portion.

Tonight I also made it heartier by cooking some sun-dried tomato chicken sausage in with the sauce. The chunks of sausage combined with the diced tomatoes made it very hearty, almost more like a ragu or stew than traditional pasta sauce. For my purposes, that was perfect!

While the kids noshed on their pasta I enjoyed some zucchini noodles. I think I have finally perfected my technique to make them nice and tender. After slicing the zucchini thinly (remind me I need a new mandolin!) I boiled it for one quick minute, then sauteed it in a smidge of olive oil, seasoning it with salt and pepper.

I don't think zucchini "noodles" are truly a substitute for the real thing, but they are a delicious alternative.

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