Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Herb Cream Sauce

Cooking with Heinen’s: Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Herb Cream Sauce

This recipe and photos were provided by Sally Roeckell of Table and Dish and were originally published at 365Barrington.com.

Spiralized Zucchini “pasta” tossed in a creamy avocado herb sauce is on our  Cooking with Heinen’s menu this week. It’s a quick and tasty, low-carb and healthier alternative to traditional pasta! You know I love pasta, especially if it’s homemade, fresh-cooked pasta. If you are craving pasta then make yourself a big hot bowl and eat it up.  However, if you are looking for something on the lighter side with the feel of pasta but with more fiber, nutrients and far less carbs, then this is your dish. I’m crazy about it.

Have you ever spiralized vegetables?  Maybe you’ve wanted to but haven’t gone out to purchase the tools. No problem!  Heinen’s has done it for you.  You can buy freshly spiralized zucchini in the produce department.  Now, half the work is done for you! The avocado herb cream sauce is not only super easy to make but it is dense with flavor and the creamy consistency is reminiscent of a rich cheese sauce. Two minutes in a food processor and it’s ready!

Have you ever seen the movie Julie and Julia? It’s about the girl who writes a blog and cooks her way through Julia Childs’ cookbook? One of Julie’s realizations is that she has been sautéing mushrooms wrong her entire life.  So have I! Julia Childs recommends never crowding the pan when sautéing mushrooms.  I usually slice up a whole pound and saute them all until tender, usually in herb butter.  Cooking them that way steams the mushrooms in their own liquid. I recently followed Julia’s suggestion and I now understand. When you don’t crowd the pan the mushrooms actually brown on each side.  The result is a juicy mushroom with a caramelized exterior that tastes like grilled steak.  This was the perfect addition to my zucchini pasta.

Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Herb Cream Sauce

Zucchini Pasta with Avocado Herb Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large or 5-6 small zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms

For the avocado sauce:

  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted, and peeled
  • large handful of cilantro (about ⅓ cup loosely packed)
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • water, as needed

Method:

  • Slice the ends of your zucchini off. Use a spiralizer to make your zucchini noodles – or purchase them pre-spiralized.
  • Heat a large pan to high heat. Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan then add crushed garlic. Cook garlic for just a few seconds or until it turns golden.
  • Add the zucchini noodles, toss to combine with the garlic and cook for just a few seconds then remove pan from heat and set aside to cool.
  • Heat a large, non-stick skillet to medium-high heat. Add mushrooms in a single layer without crowding the pan. Brown on each side then remove from heat.
  • While the zucchini pasta is cooling, add avocado, herbs (cilantro, parsley, or basil), lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a food processor. Blend until mixture is creamy, (optional, add 2-3 tablespoons water or until mixture reaches a pourable consistency).
  • Pour sauce on zucchini noodles. Toss and serve topped with cooked mushrooms. Garnish with Parmesan or additional chopped cilantro. Enjoy warm or at room temp!

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