Scampi & Zoodles
Updated: Aug 16, 2019
In most circumstances, I believe that pasta cannot be substituted. Everyone knows that pasta is one of the most comforting substances on the planet, not to mention that it’s affordable and filling.
But unfortunately, a couple servings of pasta can go a long way towards messing with any dietary goals you may have for yourself. Of course I believe you should treat yourself to pasta every once in a while. Once a week, even. But picture this: you’ve already served your family lasagna for Sunday dinner; therefore, you’ve used up your hypothetical once-a-week pasta rations. But what if you have another dish planned that would be GREAT with pasta, but you’d like it just a bit lighter and more nutritionally valuable?
Here’s where zoodles come in. Are zoodles a perfect substitute for the chewy silkiness of pasta? No. But they sure as heck lighten up what might’ve been a heavy meal, and they help you get in a serving or two of vegetables without much suffering on your part. I mean, zoodles are practically tasteless on their own, and are therefore the perfect vehicle to soak up any flavorful sauces and spices you cook them in.
This recipe was inspired by just such a scenario as detailed above. I wanted scampi and linguini, but I had plans for a penne bake on another weeknight. So I compromised, and picked up some lovely fresh zucchinis on my grocery run to stand in for the linguini.
Scampi & Zoodles
Serves 3-4, 1 cup serving of zoodles w/ about ¼ lb of shrimp, ~284 calories per serving
For the shrimp:
1-1 1/2 lbs peeled, deveined shrimp, tails removed
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan, to taste
For the zoodles:
3-4 medium zucchini, spiralized
3 Tbsp EVOO, divided
Pepper to taste
1. Defrost shrimp if needed in bowl of cold water. Pat shrimp dry and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Set aside.
2. Wash and trim ends off the zucchini. Cut each zucchini in half, if too large for spiralizer, and spiralize the halves. Discard center cores. Set aside spiralized zucchini.
3. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add butter to melt, then add minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Heat till fragrant, 30 seconds. Add shrimp and toss to coat in garlic butter. Cook, tossing occasionally, till almost done, about 3 mins or until shrimp is mostly pink. Squeeze 2 Tbsp lemon juice over the shrimp, about 1/2 a lemon.
4. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over high heat, add 1 Tbsp olive oil per batch, and sear the zoodles in batches, sprinkling each batch generously with pepper. (Not salt; this will draw too much water out of the zoodles.) Toss zoodles often to soften, cooking 2-3 mins per batch.
5. Once zoodles are cooked, add to shrimp over medium heat and toss to heat through. Taste for seasoning, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve.
I used my KitchenAid’s spiralizer attachment, which is why I had to cut my zucchinis in half to get them to fit. If you have a different style of spiralizer, this may not be necessary. Do what works for you and your machine.
If you do not have a spiralizer, here’s what I recommend: wash and trim zucchinis as recommended in step 2. Then, instead of spiralizing, use a regular vegetable peeler to peel long, wide strips off the zucchini, like pappardelle, and continue with the recipe as written.
I recommend serving this with garlic bread on the side, and a bit of Parmigiano Reggiano over the top.
Do you enjoy zoodles? What’s your favorite way to serve them?