Recipe: Courgette Al Dente

April 8, 2012 · 24 comments

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When switching to a grain-free or gluten-free diet one of the hardest foods to give up is pasta. Known as a comfort food, eating pasta is actually quite the opposite for someone with a damaged gut. Pasta is wheat flour and salt. Even in my pre real food days I knew that macaroni was simply empty calories. Here is a substitute that has incredible nutritional value and the satisfying texture of pasta.

The zucchini or courgette is a summer squash and is a hybrid of the cucumber. Along with certain other squashes, it belongs to the species Cucurbita pepo. Zucchini can be dark or light green. A relative, the golden zucchini, is a deep yellow or orange color.  Zucchini is known as a vegetable, which means it is usually cooked and presented as a savory side dish. However, the zucchini is actually an immature fruit, being the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower.

The word courgette is a French word and is commonly used in Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand and South Africa. I think it makes it all sound so much fancier!

Zucchini is a good source of  Vitamin A, thiamin, niacin, phosphorus and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, potassium and manganese.  The omega 3 to 6 ratio is almost 2 to 1, which is excellent.

Using an inexpensive tool like the julienne peeler is easy and quick. You will really surprise your family with a great side dish as explained below, or used as a base for other foods or sauces. The possibilities are limitless!

Courgette Al Dente




  1. Peel the zucchini with a regular peeler and cut off the edges
  2. Peel with the julienne peeler until you start to see the seeds, collecting the strips on a plate
  3. Rotate the zucchini to get to a new area
  4. Continue around the entire zucchini until you have only the seed core in your hands
  5. Start again with the next zucchini and so on until all is julienned
  6. Gently heat a large skillet with extra virgin olive oil and ghee (or butter)
  7. Saute the strips of zucchini for literally 2 – 3 minutes until they are a little soft but still crunchy and hold their shape
  8. Season with the salt and garlic powder to taste
  9. Quickly remove from heat
  10. You may season this further with anything you like or put sauce on top but this simple version is fantastic as well

This post is shared at: Sugar-Free Sunday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Monday Mania, Barnyard Hop, Meatless Monday, Mouthwatering Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Hearth & Soul Hop, Traditional Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday Naptime, Tasty Tuesday Tidbits, Allergy Free Wednesday, Gluten Free Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Whole Food Wednesday, Sustainable Ways, Healthy 2Day, Mommy Club, Tastastic, Thriving on Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Creative Juice Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursday, Freaky Friday. Fresh Bites Friday, Foodie Friday, Friday Food, Fight Back Friday, Seasonal Celebration, Sunday School


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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 K April 8, 2012 at 10:50 pm

This sounds like a great respite from spaghetti squash—I’m getting tired of that! Definitely will try making it. Also, have you tried adding your no-tomato sauce? Does that work with it?


2 Jill April 9, 2012 at 7:39 am

Hi K,
Yes! It works well with the No-Tomato sauce.


3 Hanna April 9, 2012 at 1:24 am

This will be interesting to try.
I sometimes just slice them thinly and fry with some oinions and top with a poched egg. :)


4 Jill April 9, 2012 at 7:39 am

Hi Hamnna,
Sounds like a good idea!


5 Vicky April 9, 2012 at 8:09 am

Looks awesome!


6 Bebe April 9, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I have done this with a regular peeler and ended up with lovely wide ‘noodles’. My kids love anything in a cream sauce and that’s how we usually enjoy our zucchini ‘pasta’… over low heat saute some minced fresh garlic just until it begins to soften, add cream (how much depends on how many people you are feeding!) and turn heat up high enough to produce a nice firm bubbling around edges of pan (I use a cast iron skillet). Keep cooking until reduced by about 1/3-1/2. Add zucchini, salt, pepper and any other seasonings you like (we often use basil and/or red pepper flakes) and cook briefly, just until your ‘noodles’ are tender.
I just ordered the julienne peeler… variety IS the spice of life!


7 Jill April 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Hi Bebe,
Your wide noodles sound awesome!


8 Anna W. April 9, 2012 at 8:51 pm

GREAT idea! i usually eat my pasta sauce with spaghetti squash or sauteed broccoli slaw….this sounds like a tasty change. thanks!!


9 France @ Beyond The Peel April 10, 2012 at 12:05 pm

This is a lovely idea. I usually do mine like parpadelle noodles, skinny and wide, but this sounds lovely and something my mandoline could do in minute.


10 Alea April 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I love using veggies in place of pasta. They are such a healthy alternative, even if you don’t have to follow a gluten-free diet.


11 Anita April 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm

This is a very pretty dish and sound very nutritious! Thank you for the recipe!


12 mjskit April 11, 2012 at 10:36 pm

What a fabulous way to serve zucchini! It looks extremely tasty and oh so healthy!


13 April @ The 21st Century Housewife April 12, 2012 at 11:02 am

What a delicious, healthy recipe, and it would be good for anyone trying to cut back on their calories as well!


14 Susan with Permanent Posies April 12, 2012 at 11:10 pm

This looks like it would be great with some pasta sauce. I love the combination of zucchini and red sauce.


15 Miz Helen April 13, 2012 at 11:18 am

Hi Jill,
Hope you are having a wonderful Spring day. Thank you so much for sharing your great recipe with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon!
Miz Helen


16 Becky April 13, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Love the photos and colors. Gorgeous! Please link up to NYOR’s Foodie Friday Don’t forget to leave a comment!


17 Diane Balch April 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm

This just sounds simple and delicious. Please share this on my foodie friday linky today.


18 Adrienne @ Whole New Mom April 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Thanks so much for linking up. Hope to see you next week.


19 katherine April 17, 2012 at 11:10 pm

yum, a wonderful recipe. thank you for sharing.xo


20 Rebecca @ Natural Mothers Network April 19, 2012 at 9:17 am

What a great use of courgettes! ( this is what we call them in Europe!) Thanks for sharing this at Natural Mother’s Seasonal Celebration Sunday! x


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