Wide Zucchini Noodles and Pappardelle with Meat Sauce

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The pappardelle at the bottom tastes great with a forkful of zucchini noodles and meat sauce with lentils!

Alex and I spent a week apart in different parts of California, and with an anticipated 10 days apart coming up,  we only wanted to spend dinners together this weekend!  This is a glimpse of “Taylor in Your Kitchen” at the Taylor home!  We got creative with more veggie noodles, and I switched up our usual turkey meat sauce recipe by adding steamed lentils, at the recommendation of one of the patients at the physical therapy clinic where I work – an anonymous “thank you!”

This recipe is fantastic for a quick weeknight meal.  The sauce is easy to make once you get used to cooking with multiple pans simultaneously.  To ease your transition to that stage of kitchen comfort, I recommend prepping all of the sauce ingredients before you start cooking.  When the sauce is simmering, you can multitask more easily with the pasta and zucchini noodles.  Pappardelle noodles cook in about four minutes, and while the water is boiling, you can make progress on the zucchini prep.  Otherwise, prep all ingredients first until you get a hang of this recipe.  This dish makes a satisfying vegetarian meal if you omit the turkey; the lentils lend staying power to the sauce.

Recipe

Wide Zucchini Noodles and Pappardelle and Meat Sauce – serves 4

For this recipe, I like to use a peeler for the zucchini instead of the spiralizer, to match the width of the pappardelle pasta.  Zucchini noodles take about 5 – 7 minutes to cook down.  Check out the gallery to see what the zucchini will look like as it cooks.  You can also prep zucchini noodles quickly by microwaving a single serving for just 2 minutes – that’s perfect for leftover sauce.

You will need:

  1. 1 yellow onion
  2. 1 orange pepper
  3. 1 lb ground turkey meat
  4. 1 package steamed lentils – about 10 ounces
  5. 24 ounces of pasta sauce, your choice on flavor!
  6. 1 t garlic powder
  7. 1 t black pepper
  8. 1/2 t hot red pepper flakes
  9. 1 package of pappardelle pasta – about four 2 ounce servings
  10. 1/2 T salt
  11. 4 or 5 zucchini
  12. 1/2 T olive oil

Optional: parmesan cheese to serve

Steps:

  1. Peel the outside layer of zucchinis and discard.  Keep peeling until you reach the zucchini seeds, and discard the center portion.  Retain all zucchini strips – those will be your noodles.
  2. Chop onion and yellow pepper(mini or bite-sized pieces).  Heat a medium pan over medium-low heat, and spray with cooking spray.  Add chopped onion and pepper pieces and stir occasionally while veggies cook.  Your onions should start to become translucent.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a medium pot over medium heat for the turkey and sauce.
  4. Spray with cooking spray and brown turkey meat.  Crush up the turkey meat and season with garlic, pepper and hot red pepper flakes.
  5. While turkey is browning, start heating a pot of water for pasta.  Add just a dash of salt to the water as you bring it to a boil.
  6. Add your veggies to the turkey meat when the meat has cooked through completely.  Stir to combine.  Add pre-cooked lentils last.
  7. Pour your pasta sauce over the meat, veggies and lentils.  Stir and simmer for about 10-15 minutes over low heat until your pasta and noodles are ready.
  8. Add pappardelle to boiling water, and reduce heat to medium-high.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking, and check tenderness after just four minutes.  Drain as usual and stir in olive oil immediately.
  9. Heat a medium pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add your pile of zucchini noodles, and cover with a lid.  Stir occasionally until zucchini reaches desired tenderness.
  10. Plate pappardelle pasta with an equal amount of zucchini noodles.  Top with pasta sauce and parmesan cheese or more hot red pepper flakes.
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