Monday, June 18, 2012

Paleo "Pasta" in Cream Sauce

Tonight I adapted one of my kids' favorite pasta recipes to make it dairy-free and (thanks to zucchini noodles for me) paleo-friendly.

The original recipe is called "Pasta Verde" from The New Moosewood Cookbook. It relies on a cup of ricotta for creaminess, so I came up with a macadamia nut sub that worked well instead. I had originally planned to make tonight's dinner a riff on carbonara, so I added some peas and crumbled bacon to the bowls as a tasty garnish.

The peas were the most non-paleo things I ate today. I know a lot of people blog about how the day after their Whole30 they overindulge in something forbidden for the past month, and wind up feeling physically terrible afterward. Other than a couple of drops of stevia in my coffee this morning, I was quite "good" and so so happy to enjoy my coffee again ;)

But back to the pasta...

Macadamia “Ricotta”

1 cup raw macadamia nuts
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. salt
Italian seasoning, to taste
1/2-1 cup water

Put nuts, lemon, salt, seasoning and 1/4 cup water in a high-speed blender or food processor. Process until mixed well, then gradually add water until you reach the consistency desired.

Paleo "Pasta" Verde

2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 large onion,  diced
2 minced garlic cloves
3 cups spinach
1 cup macadamia “ricotta” (see above)
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
another good squirt of lemon juice
small handful basil leaves
salt & pepper, to taste
2 medium zucchinis, julienned

Place zucchini in a colander over the sink. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, cooking until onion is soft. Add spinach to pan and cover it, cooking just until the spinach is bright green and has begun to wilt. Add the spinach mixture to food processor (I simply made my macadamia cheese in the food processor first, and left it in there).

Add all other ingredients and process until smooth. Taste for seasoning. 

Heat 1 tbs. of olive oil in a large skillet. Add zucchini and cook for a couple of minutes until softened. Toss zucchini "noodles" with sauce. Top as desired (chopped tomatoes, minced basil, crumbled bacon etc.)... I sauteed some mushrooms and tossed them into the mix as well.

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