First thing first: I’d like to give credit to the lovely Chelsea Vincent for providing the original incarnation of this recipe. It rapidly became one of my favorite pasta substitutes before I discovered the wonder of rice noodles, though I’d call it a testament to how awesome the final product is that I still continue to make it.
Goat cheese is an acquired taste, admittedly, but one well-worth acquiring. It’s also quite a bit easier on the digestive tract for people who normally forgo dairy, so even the lactose intolerant might want to take a look. The combination with slightly sweet zucchini (and italian sausage, if you’re feeling luxurious) is one that’s so hard not to love.
4 zucchini (medium to large in size)
4 oz goat cheese (one small package, in other words)
1 white onion (small to medium in size)
2-4 cloves of garlic (to taste), minced
1. Chop your zucchini how you like it: slices if you’re pressed for time, or ribbons (using a vegetable peeler) if you’re feeling fancy. When it cooks down, honestly, you can’t much tell the difference.
2. Put olive oil in a pan and go ahead and add the onion. Let it cook for a few minutes.
3. Throw in the garlic and let it cook with the onions until they’re both soft.
4. Add your zucchini and let it cook down (until tender) in the pan.
5. Add the goat cheese and stir it around with the zucchini until the ribbons/slices/chunks/whatever are coated well. The cheese should melt properly in just a few minutes.
If you want to add meat, it’s a simple thing to do. You can cook it in the same pan, but you’ll fare better with two. Cook it in a separate pan and mix it into the final product of goat cheese and zucchini and you’ll be good to go. Italian sausage (ignoring the usual concerns about processed meat, admittedly) works pretty damn well.
If you’re a spice fanatic (guilty!), add red pepper flakes. They’ll contribute a nice pop of color and an equally nice hint of heat.
The Final Product
In a kid-friendly twist, it’s also a dead ringer for mac and cheese.
It’s not the prettiest of pictures, I’ll admit, but that’s the nature of the beast. Neither goat cheese nor zucchini carry bold colors, but the combination of flavors is not one to miss. Considering how easy this is to make, too, I’d say this pseudo-pasta is one everyone should try at least once.