When the weather gets warmer, I usually hate to eat foods that are on the heavy side. During spring and summer, I prefer to eat lighter foods and less starch. That’s why, two years ago, I immediately fell in love with the idea of Zucchini pasta after surfing for new ideas on Pinterest. At first, I was skeptical because, for me, pasta normally meant made with flour and eggs. So I was certain that I wouldn’t like it. Then I tried it and I simply loved it. Since then, making Zucchini pasta is now part of my cooking habits.
The good thing about pasta made out of vegetables like zucchinis is that there are healthy alternative to the traditional pasta. And they are usually gluten free, which is good news for people who are intolerant to gluten. This week, I decided to use vodka instead of white wine because I like pairing vodka and shrimp. I don’t why but I think shrimp go well with vodka.
And it’s very simple to make your own zucchini pasta, all you need is a mandolin. You can use a knife, however it’s better to use a mandolin for more uniformity. But be careful to not cut yourself when using something as sharp as a mandolin.
Even though, I used shrimp for this recipe, zucchini pastas are also a great vegan alternative for the classic egg pastas. In fact, to turn this dish vegan, all you need to do is to replace shrimp with tofu, mushrooms, or asparaguses.
Prep: 10 min Cook: 15-20 min 6 Servings
1 lb of Shrimp, shelled and deveined
8 medium size Zucchinis
¼ cup of Vodka
1 tablespoon of Lemon juice
2 gloves of Garlic, finely minced
1 Shallot, finely minced
1 teaspoon of Soy sauce (Optional)
1 teaspoon of Chili flakes
1. Using a mandolin, cut each zucchini into thin sticks (I used the Julienne cutter of my mandolin). Reserve the zucchini for later.
2. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, heat olive oil (about 1-2 tablespoons) and cook garlic and chili flakes. Add the shrimp, make sure to not overcrowd the pan and if necessary sauté the shrimp in two batches. Let the shrimp cook for at least 2 minutes on each side. Once they are cooked to your liking, remove the shrimp from pan and transfer them in a bowl. Set them aside.
3. In the same pan (if needed add another tablespoon of olive oil), add the shallot and stir for 1-2 minutes then deglaze with vodka and lemon juice. Cook for 5 minutes or until half of the alcohol has evaporated (You need as little liquid as possible because the zucchinis will also create water when cooked).
4. Add the zucchini pasta and stir with tongs to coat them entirely with the vodka sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the zucchini become tender and al dente (If you choose to, add the soy sauce for flavor). Add back the shrimp and stir for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Serve the zucchini pasta in a pasta plate and as garnish, sprinkle some grated lemon zest on top.
Vodka can be replaced by white wine. It’s totally up to you. I usually make this dish with white wine but I decided to try something new. And I liked the result.
If you are vegan, you can replace shrimp with any other vegan proteins. I tried to do this dish with tofu once and it was quite nice.