Rule of thumb: avoid key words like “creamy” when ordering pasta at a restaurant. “Creamy” usually means it’s a sauce whisked together with butter and cream or sugar and flour – or all four.
Rule of thumb here: creamy = cheese + a healthy sauce. The cheese thickens the healthy pasta sauce, making it seem creamy.
Okay, I said creamy way too many times.
This recipe is a prime example of why spiralizing rawks. Yup, rawks.
You’re eating tomatoes, garlic and zucchini with bacon: whole, real ingredients. Then, walk in cheese. The cheese is a savory, salty and slightly sweet addition to a nutrient-packed meal, which results in a “I feel like I’m eating something bad, but I feel great!” sensation. With a small amount of cheese added in the end of this recipe, we get big flavor and a wonderfully velvety, smooth texture (without using butter or cream!)
I call this a “BLT” pasta, because it has all of the components: bacon, lettuce and tomato [sauce]. Instead of using chopped tomatoes, the tomato sauce takes its place and works well with the wilted arugula and the crispy, crumbled bacon.
If you’re a vegetarian, skip the bacon and go with small cubes of avocado – it will add to the smoothness of the pasta, while adding a healthy fat.
While my go-to sandwich is a turkey on whole wheat with lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard, the BLAT (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) is a close second for me. Actually next week, I’m shooting the photos for the Inspiralized cookbook (coming out next year – EEK!) and I’m thinking to myself, “what sandwiches can I wrap in paper and bring to the photoshoot for lunch?” Of course, it’ll be in NYC, so there are thousands of places around to grab lunch – but, I feel like I never make sandwiches, so maybe this is the week of brown bag lunch sandwiches!
This cookbook, this wedding, this blog… I’m just on cloud nine, all the time! It’s such an exciting time in my life, and I wake up every day, excited to see what’s going to happen next.
What’s your favorite BLT combination?
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Creamy BLT Zucchini Pasta
- 4 pieces of bacon
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 14.5 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 medium zucchinis Blade C, noodles trimmed
- 2.5-3 cups arugula
- ¼ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Once heated, add in the bacon slices and cook for 2-3 minutes, flip over and cook another 3-5 minutes or until crispy. Set aside on a paper-towel lined plate.
- Wipe down the skillet and place it back over medium-high heat. Add in the olive oil and once heated, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then, add in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper and oregano and let cook for 10 minutes or until sauce is fully reduced.
- Once reduced, add in the arugula and zucchini noodles. Cook, tossing frequently, for 2-3 minutes or until noodles wilt and cook through. Remove from heat and stir in the parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Toss noodle mixture until cheese melts and then crumble in the bacon and give another toss to combine.
- Serve immediately.