Whole wheat pasta sucks. Every time you put red sauce on whole wheat pasta and rub it in how you are ‘eating healthy,’ you have taken a year off of my life.
But provided you are using an oil-based sauce, there are a handful of times where it is acceptable to use whole wheat pasta, and one of them is after you overdose on Edzo’s burgers/shakes/fries for lunch and are condemned to eat a light dinner to compensate. Feel like death? Make a green vegetable and magically your self-esteem doesn’t suck so much. This is usually the same motivation that causes me to buy overpriced granola and weird whole wheatified organic versions of goldfish crackers.
Technically, you can make legit looking ‘pasta’ out of zucchini, but that would require a mandolin or really great knife skills. We used a peeler and were sloppy, so this is really whole wheat spaghetti with zucchini tagliatelle. Fancy.
P.S. the least shitty of all whole wheat pastas is actually generic 365 brand from Whole Foods. You can obviously tell it isn’t real pasta, but is one of the few that doesn’t taste like gritty nut paste garbage.
Whole Wheat & Shaved Zucchini Pasta with Fresh Basil (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
1/2 box (or bag) whole wheat spaghetti/spaghettini/linguine/fettucini/tagliatelle
2 medium size zucchinis (3/4-1 lb total)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of basil leaves, coarsely chopped
Red pepper flakes
Salt & fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Boil water. Salt it. Using a peeler, shave the zucchinis into long flat peels (alternately, you can pretend you are on Iron Chef and hack it away into a fine julienne, but unless you are an expert it will turn out crunchy and it won’t be our fault). Heat the oil in a pan until hot, and lightly brown the garlic. Add the red pepper flakes and immediately stir in the chopped basil, then remove from heat. By this time, you can probably drain the pasta - SAVE SOME WATER. I KNOW YOU WILL FORGET SO I AM PUTTING IT IN CAPS (spaghettiandmeatblog cares). Return pasta to its pot and add the shaved zucchini, the garlic/basil/oil mixture, some more olive oil, and cheese. Toss and add pasta water, salt, and pepper to your seasoning desires, using the pasta water to smooth out the sauce texture.
Top with more cheese, and a basil leaf if you like your pasta with added panache… but let’s be honest, we really only put the leaf on the plate to impress the internet.