2022 has arrived and for many, changes are a must. Looking back at the past year, many of us seek to improve upon our apparent downfalls. For some it may be small changes and for others, major overhauls. Let’s make one thing abundantly clear, our essential selves are perfect. We may need to make adjustments and create better habits, but who we are, in our soul, is perfect. So along your journey in 2022, remember to give yourself grace and to breathe.
For me, I have decided to adjust a handful of pieces of my life but one in particular seems important to share. This Pastafarian has gone rogue. I am stepping away from pasta for a bit, just to try to reign in my carb consumption. Yes, this is SO NOT Italian, but I’m Irish/English – so that’s that. It’s funny, when I lived in Rome I ate pasta at least once a day – sometimes twice. However my lifestyle was so different there. I didn’t have a car and walked more than I ever had. Unfortunately, I have not figured out how to live that life, in Boston, nor can I move back to Rome – YET. So I am going rogue.
What does a Rogue Pastafarian look like? Great question. I have entered the land of the Spiralizer. Yes I have traded in my noodles for various types of “oodles.” I do not foresee this change as being finite in my life, but it’s a small step towards reigning in my eating habits that have also gone rogue. If you are unfamiliar with the land of the Spiralizer, it’s simply taking a vegetable or fruit and making into the noodle shape with a specific instrument. This is a great article on Spiralizing. There are many shapes and types of “oodles” with which to play. I must admit, it’s also kind of fun.
I was given a Spiralizer as a gift a few years back and was annoyed by it frankly. First of all, pasta is my heart and soul. How dare he even suggest I give up pasta? Was I overreacting? Yes – obviously. Then I tried to use it and was unable to figure it out. I admit this was not a highlight of my life. I have a master’s degree but couldn’t figure out how to use this tool. And NO, I didn’t look at the directions – how dare you? However, after giving myself a bit of grace, I figured it out and now truly enjoy this little gem. There she is in all her colorful glory: OXO Good Grips 3-Blade Hand-Held Spiralizer
There are many versions of spiralizers out there, however I must say I truly enjoy the one I have, once I figured out how to work it of course! It’s small, but effective and portable. If I go on vacation it’s easy to throw in my bag (note: I have not taken it on a flight as I am not sure what TSA would have to say about that). It is easy to clean and has three different blades to choose from. As pappardelle is one of my most favorite pastas, I tend to utilize the blade that produces the ribbon-like shape.
Let me be clear – this is not the end of my pasta making and eating. I am a Pastafarian, who just happens to be going rogue for a bit. It has been a great way to think about some of my favorite pasta dishes and alter them to fit the “oodles” scene. Below is one of my go-to recipes for Zoodles – yes, zucchini noodles – clever right? I hope you visit the land of Spiralizer and make this recipe below. I would love to hear your feedback on this recipe and to know of your creations and inspiration for the “oodles.” Happy 2022 to you and don’t be afraid to go rogue every once in a while.
Rogue Zoodles and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
1 large zucchini
1 cup of roasted red peppers
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of fresh basil
1/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano Equipment:
Yield: 2 portions
Place roasted red peppers, garlic, basil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and 1 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice in the blender. Blend ingredients to form a thick red sauce. Once ingredients are blended, begin to add olive oil slowly into the blender while it is on to emulsify the sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
Using your Spiralizer, create your favorite style of Zoodles. Bring water to boil in pasta pot and generously salt the water. Add the red pepper sauce to the sauté pan over medium heat. Add the Zoodles to the boiling water and cook for one minute. Immediately add Zoodles to the red pepper sauce and stir. Add water from pasta pot as needed to obtain the desired consistency to your sauce. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.