Long, thin fettuccine ribbons tossed through fragrant oil in a hot pan and served al dente with your favorite pasta sauce. Bring it on. Carrot and zucchini are just right for making great flat, strips and there are no special appliances required. A good vegetable peeler, that’s all. They’re colorful, nutrient dense, low FODMAP and low carb. Eating them makes you realise that the satisfaction we derive from food is multilayered: it’s not just about taste and texture – of which there’s plenty – but it’s also bound up in action – the sheer joy of plunging one’s fork in, and twirling.
Carrot and Zucchini Fettuccine – Paleo, AIP, Whole 30
These fettuccine were born from laziness. We were up at Monte, where I’d passed a chilled out, mostly secluded weekend. Roxy and I went up on Friday afternoon, but The General had gigs, so he came up around midnight on Saturday. For more than 24 hours I had no one to talk to, no one to cook for, nothing to do. I thought I’d left my phone recharger at home, so there was no temptation of technology. (On Sunday morning I realised it was hiding in my bag.) No responsibity. The quiet of the hills. Just me and my dog. Bliss.
I had a pound of ground beef which was needing to be cooked, but I was also needing to keep my meals low FODMAP for a few days. So on Friday evening I made a simple ragù with celery, carrot, parsley and rosemary. I had big green leaves from the vegetable garden. I sautèd some in a pan. But that wasn’t enough to meet my necessary quota of vegetables. I started making a big mixed salad, then when it came to grating the carrot and zucchini the laziness switched in. How pathetic is this – grating the carrot and zucchini would mean having to wash the grater – and my good will went on strike at the thought.
With the vegetable peeler in hand, I started shaving long strips from said vegetables, giving them a slight rotation after each ribbon had fallen into the bowl. So pretty – long, tri-colored tendrils, orange, green and white. Within a few minutes I had a generous Paleo-sized mound of fettuccine just needing to be heated through. I poured a little olive oil into a pan with a rosemary twig and waited for it to warm up and take on the flavour. Then I dumped the fettuccine in. Using two utensils, a fork and a spoon, I gently tossed it over a medium high heat just enough for the strands to heat through. Al dente, not cooked. I wanted them to maintain their freshness and form. Once in my pasta bowl, I spooned over the ragù, and finished the plate with an artistic swirl, from the centre outwards, of extra virgin olive oil, and a twist of salt.
Aha! Has there ever been – will there ever be – a person on the planet who doesn’t love diving into a bowl of noodles, spaghetti, fettuccine, tagliatelle, zoodles, whatever you want to call them, however they’re made? Seems like they wiggle their way into something deep and primal, and those made with vegetables are no exception. What we realised the first time we ate zoodles, and I’m sure you’ll agree, is that what they’re made of is not what’s important. Rather, it’s the coiling, the slurp-suck of their tails, the way whatever sauce you add to them clings to their sides. They delight, they’re stimulating and fun.
The real test, of course, is to try it out on a bona fide Italian. Which I did, on Sunday night. He was well impressed, and made little comments and noises of satisfaction all through the meal. It’s a great thing to see a gluten-intolerant Italian twirling fettuccine around a fork and stuffing it in. Better than the zoodles, he said, as he went back for more.
What’s your favorite pasta sauce? What would you serve with this fettuccine? Personally, I can’t wait to try them with a Carbonara, and I think you’ll be seeing a Boscaiola recipe on the blog sometime soon. If you happen to make these, let me know how they turn out, and be sure to give a tap on the recipe review stars.
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- 2 medium zucchini
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 inch twig of fresh rosemary
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and squashed (optional)
- Top and tail the zucchini. Using a good serrated vegetable peeler, peel long, unbroked strips from the top to the bottom. Rotate slightly after each shaving, so that in the end you are left with a narrow core. (Keep the core and use it for something else.)
- Peel the carrot, and shave strips as for the zucchini.
- Add two tablespoons of olive oil or coconut oil to a large non-stick frypan and warm it over a low heat. Add the rosemary and garlic (if using) and sautè for one minute so that the oil takes on the flavour.
- Increase the heat to medium-high and add the zucchini and carrot fettuccine. Gently toss with two spoons, taking care not to break the ribbons. Continue turning for about 2 minutes, until the fettuccine are just warmed through.
- Remove the rosemary and garlic, and divide the fettucine between your serving plates. Top with your pasta sauce of choice, and enjoy!