Spaghetti Zucchini Nicoise

Zucchini Spaghetti Nicoise - Spiralized zucchini, poached egg and olives with some leftover Nicoise dressing make up the backbone of this delicious pasta!

Two words. Spiralized. Zucchini. Two more words. Nicoise. Dressing.

I honestly only learned about spiralized vegetables this year, when a foodie friend I caught up with was raving about this hot new vegetable craze. "Pasta made out of vegetables?" I thought to myself. I imagined all the kinds of pasta I knew about and thought she meant those kinds where the vegetable was blended up and mixed into dough. "No, not those kinds! The vegetable IS the pasta!" She exclaimed. Five minutes later I was being mesmerized by spiralized vegetable videos on her phone.

Somehow one thing led to another and I found myself in possession of a vegetable spiralizer (Thanks Miss N, this recipe is dedicated to you and Miss L!). While I personally do love carbs, I did try spiralizing zucchini and it was surprisingly satisfying. By satisfying, I don't just mean the process of spiralizing the noodles, but that the noodles produced are delicious, fun to eat, and filling.

In an attempt to satisfy my carb cravings, I developed this recipe that is part pasta, part vegetable, and all DELICIOUSNESS. I was totally blown away by how nicely the combination worked together.

Soft bites of zucchini weaved into the pasta lifted the dish and added an element of juiciness to the texture. The strong fishy flavor of canned tuna was transformed by the lemon and olive oil into the flavor of the ocean; melding with each bite of the pasta. The final elements were a poached egg with its rich runny yolk, and a shaving of umami parmesan cheese.

While it sounds elaborate, this really is a "use my leftovers dish" that was designed to clear off my leftover tuna, lemon dressing, and olives. Serve it to any unsuspecting diner though, and I am pretty sure they will rate this as a restaurant-quality dish! Do try this recipe out, especially if you have leftovers from the Salad Nicoise. You won't regret it!

P.S. If you don't have a spiralizer, just slice up the zucchini. The combination will still be good!

Ingredients​

1 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin)
3-4 kalamata or nicoise olives (chopped)
1/2 can tuna (drained)
2 tbsp lemon dressing (refer to Salad Nicoise recipe)
60-80 g dried spaghetti (n5)
20-30 g zucchini (spiralized to same size as spaghetti, or sliced)
parmesan cheese (grated)
salt and pepper (season to taste)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)

Instructions

1. In a large pot of salted water, cook spaghetti until 1 minute shy of package directions. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid, drain and set aside.
2. In a small pot of simmering water, poach egg. Once done, drain and set aside for later.
3. In a separate medium pan, heat 1/2 tbsp of oil on medium heat and fry garlic till fragrant. Approximately 30 seconds.
4. Add in zucchini and olives, continue frying till soft. Approximately 1-2 minutes.
5. Add in cooked spaghetti, 1/4 cup of reserved pasta cooking liquid, tuna, lemon dressing, and cook on high heat while mixing to finish cooking the pasta. Approximately 1-2 minutes.
6. By now the pasta should be slightly coated with sauce and perfectly al dente. If too dry add more pasta cooking liquid to moisten. Taste pasta and season with salt and pepper.
7. Transfer pasta to a serving dish, and top with poached egg, grated parmesan and remaining olive oil.
8. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

- If you don't have a spiralizer, slice the zucchini and pan fry till soft. Still delicious!
- For a 'carb-free' version, try using all zucchini!

©2018 by Inspirecookeat