I think pasta might be making a comeback. I keep seeing recipes everywhere for fun, light, summery dishes using orzo, penne, and spaghetti.I admit I long for the days when I could feast on pasta and not feel like I’m committing a crime. Is pasta bad for me? Probably not. Can I eat an “appropriate” amount and feel satisfied? Definitely not. Especially when my mom is the one making it. That’s why I love zucchini noodles. I can be a little glutinous and still feel good about myself.
Last week I shared this cold zoodle salad with you. This week I went with a warm dish. Pasta Puttanesca is actually a childhood favorite. I love anything with olives and although this is not a traditional Puttanesca sauce, it worked perfectly for me.
These fancy cherry tomatoes were my inspiration. Aren’t they amazing? They made a lovely base for my sauce. I sauteed them in a pan with some olive oil, garlic and anchovy paste until softened. Then I added the capers, olives and fresh basil. My house smelled gorgeous while this sauce was cooking up. To me, there’s not much better a smell than that of sauteed garlic — it’s always the start of something delicious!
It’s such a simple dish, yet it has so much flavor. If you love Puttanesca, you will love this sauce! So tell me, have you tried substituting your favorite pasta dishes with zucchini noodles yet? I promise, you won’t be disappointed. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be so happy you can start to enjoy pasta again without feeling “bad” about it.
Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!
Zucchini Noodles with Cherry Tomatoes & Olives
- 3 zucchini spiralized
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 large clove garlic minced (or to taste)
- 1/4 cup capers
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives pitted and coarsely chopped
- 1 handful fresh basil chopped
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tsp anchovy paste I use the kind in the tube; vegetarians -- feel free to omit
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Crushed red pepper optional
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Once heated, add garlic and anchovy paste, if using. Cook until anchovy dissolves and garlic browns. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until softened about 5-8 minutes. Then add the capers and olives. Simmer for about 5 minutes more, or until the tomatoes make a sauce. Add salt, to taste. Stir in the basil. While sauce is cooking, spiralize the zucchini and place in large bowl (I cut my noodles with a kitchen scissor so they are easier to eat). When ready, toss the sauce with the zucchini and eat immediately.