Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gluten-Free Pasta with Zucchini and Olive Oil Sauce

Tonight my friend Amy convinced me to go to boot camp class with her.  The words "boot camp" make me nervous as I am picturing carrying boulders on my back with someone screaming in my ear as I sob (I can be a bit dramatic).  Not to mention, Amy is super-athletic and I eat chocolate-peanut butter pie. But I am never one to shy away from a challenge, so I am going to give it a shot.

To do a workout like this, I need to have a light dinner before I go; something that will give me energy but won't weigh me down.  Pasta with fresh vegetables sounds so good but traditional pasta sauce tends to upset my stomach when I work out.  I like to eat pasta with an olive oil pasta sauce that is super easy to make.  To make this dish, you need:

  • 1 12 oz box of your favorite gluten-free pasta (I like Schar penne)
  • 1 zucchini, chopped into thin pieces (you can really use any vegetables for this recipe; peppers, broccoli, even asparagus work)
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled, one minced
  • Crushed red peppers
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup parmesan (optional)
After you boil and drain your pasta, saute the zucchini, or vegetables of you choice, with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, minced garlic cloves, and salt and pepper, until the zucchini is slightly brown.

Once the zucchini is done, add it to the pasta.  Pour the olive oil in a frying pan and place over medium heat.  Take the remaining garlic cloves and add them whole to the olive oil.  Cook the garlic cloves until they just start to turn brown and then remove them.  This adds a nice garlic flavor to your sauce.  

Once you remove the garlic cloves, add 1-2 tablespoons of crushed red peppers.  You can adjust the amount depending on how spicy you like your sauce, but I wouldn't go under 1 tablespoon or your sauce will be a little bland.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Then, add salt and pepper to taste and the sauce from the heat. Allow the sauce to cool for about 5 minutes and then add to your pasta and vegetables.  

I also like to add 1/2 cup of parmesan to make the pasta take a little more sharp.  But this is totally an option.  This dish keeps really if you have left-overs.  You could also add sauteed chicken for a little more protein.

Wish me luck at boot camp!  If you have any favorite pre-workout recipes, add them to the comments section. I think I will add this to Allergy Free Wednesday

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