Zucchini Linguini with Goat Cheese Sauce

I have been like a little kid playing with Christmas gifts today.  I have a new little mandolin slicer I’ve been trying out on some zucchini (not on my fingers!) and a new camera I now kleek kleek all over the place.  So much fun! 

With a mandolin in my possession, zucchini had to be the first thing to try out.  Nice perfect slices make for great salad or pizza toppings, or, interestingly, noodles.  Pseudo-noodles.  Even if you just have a vegetable peeler, I’d say it is definitely time to give this veg-linguini a chance.

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Why I adore it?  Okay.  Numbering on my fingers here…

One.  The squash is sautéed.  In mucho flavor-imparting ingredients.  If you like sautéed veggies in anything from stir-fries to pizza toppings, you too will be down with the taste and texture of this “linguine.”

Two.  Creamy, dreamy, goat cheese.  Not ho-hum cheese.  Goat.  Cheese.

Three.  It’s a little out there and different.  It’s edgy.  We’re playing with the very concept of pasta.  This is, like, what modern American cuisine is all about these days, right?  I’m kinda into that.

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Four.  It’s low-carb and darn tasty, yo.  I’m not a gangsta but I say yo sometimes, for emphasis.

Five.  Zucchini Linguini is a versatile dish.  If you or someone else you want to serve it to has a firm notion of what pasta should and should not be… well, call it Sautéed Zucchini with Goat Cheese Sauce.  It’s a laid back food.  It won’t mind.

I’ve run out of fingers on one hand so I think it’s time to move on.  I’m sure you’ll think of more reasons to love it but you don’t need to take my word for it!

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Zucchini Linguini with Goat Cheese Sauce

3 large green zucchini and/or yellow summer squash, ends removed

2 whole carrots, peels discarded, and peeled into long strips, end to end

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt, pepper, garlic powder

8 oz goat cheese

2-3 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, extra reserved for garnish

4 oz almond milk, original unsweetened

2-3 cloves minced garlic

Using a mandolin slicer or vegetable peeler, cut the zucchini lengthwise into long, wide strips, about 1/8” thick.  Stack all the strips on top of one another and cut lengthwise into ¼” “linguine” noodles. 

In a large pan over medium heat, warm 1 T. olive oil for a few minutes so that a strip of zucchini sizzles when placed in the pan.  Add about 1/3 the zucchini strips to the pan, season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and sauté  until all the strips are just beginning to turn translucent or “al dente” – about 2-3 minutes more or less, depending on the exact thickness of the slices.

Transfer to a large bowl and repeat with more oil and the next two batches of zucchini strips.

Cook the carrot strips lightly in olive oil, 1-2 minutes and add to the bowl of zucchini.

When the zucchini + carrots are done, immediately add the goat cheese, Parmigiano, almond milk, and garlic to the hot pan and melt together, stirring until heated through and smooth – about 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat and add the zucchini + carrots back to the pan and gently toss everything together to coat.

Serve immediately, garnishing each plate with shredded Parmigiano and a turn of freshly ground pepper.

I plan to serve this dish next with grilled chicken on top and perhaps some freshly baked focaccia bread!  I will be sure to post the pictures when that happens!

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