To say I was disappointed when Nikki Dinki was eliminated during episode 9 of this season’s Food Network Star is an understatement…I really thought she was going to win What was most disconcerting was Nikki made one mistake and was sent home; meanwhile the other contestants were in the bottom 3 numerous times, but managed to skate through. Regardless of whether or not Nikki won the competition, I still LOVE her recipes and am going to continue following her cooking blog and YouTube videos!!
One day in April, before our Biltmore Estate passes expired, my Husband and I decided to go for a hike about the grounds. Prior to the hike, we ate lunch at Nine Mile in Asheville, NC. I ordered the Raw Zucchini Pasta Substitute with my meal; it tasted so fresh and hearty, but not overly filling like traditional pasta. After seeing Nikki Dinki’s YouTube video for Zucchini “Pasta” I was anxious to try to recreate my meal from Nine Mile. I only followed Nikki’s recipe for the Zucchini Pasta itself, as I topped my dish with bottled pasta sauce. It didn’t taste exactly the same as Nine Mile’s version but it sure was yummy. Enjoy!
2 TBSP Salt
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin from each zucchini and discard the skin.
Using a julienne peeler, cut the flesh of each zucchini into strips of “pasta”. Once you see the seeds, stop cutting and rotate the zucchini until all sides are peeled and the smooth flesh has been extracted. (NOTE: The Swissmar set of 3 peelers includes a julienne peeler; if you don’t have one of these, as Nikki indicates in the video, you can use a mandoline or regular vegetable peeler along with a knife to cut the wide sections into smaller “pasta-like” strips).
Place the “pasta” strips in a colander and sprinkle 2 TBSP salt over top of the zucchini. Using your hands, mix the salt into the zucchini.
Let the zucchini rest in the colander for about 30 minutes, allowing the salt to remove the moisture and tenderize the zucchini.
Rinse the zucchini with warm water to remove the salt. Using your hands, squeeze the zucchini to extract the excess water.
Place zucchini “pasta” in a bowl and top with your favorite sauce.
Yields 3 – roughly 9 oz Servings
Weight Watchers: 1 serving = 1 point plus (this is for plain “pasta”; once “pasta” is topped with sauce the points plus value will increase – I used 1/2 a cup of the above pasta sauce which resulted in a total of 3 points plus for the dish).
NOTE: The amount of zucchini used changes the servings; I used 6 average sized zucchinis which resulted in 28 oz of “pasta” for this recipe.