Turning vegetables into noodles, or spiralizing them, is a popular way to cut carbs and add veggies to our diets while enjoying the comfort of eating noodles in sauce. Does it work? Yes, it does and quite well. The trend may have started with zucchini noodles, called zoodles, but now many more vegetables have joined the noodle party and many are much heartier and more fulfilling than zucchini. Butternut squash makes a great pasta substitute and plays well with either a creamy sauce or an herby pesto.
To make the noodle shapes, you'll need to buy a kitchen tool called a spiralizer. This fairly affordable little gadget is designed to cut vegetables into long, thin strands. There are usually several blades for different thicknesses. A number of different manufacturers make spiralizers but any of them should do the trick. Fair warning: making vegetable noodles it's addictive and you'll soon want to turn practically every fruit and vegetable into noodles.
For those veggies that need to be cooked, you can quickly saute the noodles in a skillet in a bit of olive oil or toss them in oil, and roast them in the oven on a baking sheet, then top them with your favorite sauce and enjoy.
- For the Butternut Squash Noodles:
- 1 large butternut squash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- For the Creamy Sage and Garlic Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 tablespoon chopped sage or basil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Peel the butternut squash and slice off both ends. Slice off the bulbous end of the squash which is where most of the seeds will probably be located, and save for another use. Place the non-bulbous end on a spiralizer, secure firmly and turn the handle to create the noodles. Tip: If you do not have a spiralizer, you can create noodles by using an inexpensive julienne peeler.
Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and add the butternut squash noodles. Saute on medium high heat, tossing frequently with tongs, until the noodles soften and reach your desired consistency. Season with salt and set aside.
Heat the unsalted butter and olive oil to a large skillet or cast iron pan and add the diced onion. Cook on medium heat for about 10 to 15 minutes until the onion softens. Add the garlic and continue cooking for one more minute.
Stir the flour into the onion and garlic mixture and cook for an additional minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue whisking until the mixture has no flour lumps and begins to thicken.
Stir in the mustard, chopped sage or basil, salt, pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.
Add the cooked butternut squash noodles to the sauce, toss to coat and serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.