“Nothing is better than going home to family and eating good food and relaxing.”—Irina Shayk
“I’m not a chef. But I’m passionate about food—the traditional of it, cooking it, and sharing it.”—Zac Posen
This past August, John and I were dinner guests of Amy and Keith VanHorn in Bethany, WV, while visiting our daughter, Madelyn, at Bethany College. While we were there, Amy and Keith shared dinner with Maddie, a few of her college friends as well as John and me. One of the dishes they served was zucchini noodles prepared simply in what I believe was olive oil, perhaps a bit of butter, salt and pepper. John, who is not necessarily, a big zucchini lover, to my great surprise, loved that dish and suggested that we begin to incorporate zucchini in recipes at home. Fine by me! I love all veggies, and I am all about discovering and/or creating new ways to prepare them!
As I began to mull over various way to incorporate those zucchini noodles, I was reminded of one of Maddie and John’s favorite dishes, Fettuccini Alfredo. While I enjoy making it from scratch. It is full of fat, and takes a bit of time. I began to wonder, however, if there was a way I could make a lighter, more calorie friendly version of this family favorite that would include zucchini noodles. Hmm . . .
Another thought came to me as well. What about a favorite seafood stew, taught to me by our friends, Vincent and Gisele Theriault from New Brunswick, Canada? This seafood dish is cooked in a Rose-style sauce and served over white rice. Vincent and Gisele once made this recipe for our family by combining one jar of red pasta sauce with one jar of Alfredo pasta sauce. Then, they stirred in leftover freshly caught crab and lobster meat from a meal they had shared with us the night before. It was such a tasty way to use seafood, that it is a recipe I have made on occasion at home—only substituting canned crab, baby shrimp, and clams in lieu of fresh fish.
One night, John, seemingly reading my mind, said, “You know, Steph, I bet those zucchini noodles would be good with Alfredo Sauce over them.” As I pondered what he said, the idea began to form that I could create a dish similar to that of Theriault’s seafood stew, but instead of serving it over rice, I could incorporate our favorite gluten free, high fiber pasta and zucchini noodles. It would be the best of both worlds—a lower fat variation of Fettuccini Alfredo and Theirault’s hearty seafood stew.
The recipe I share with you today, is one I have made several times with a few variations. I have made it with nothing but two jars of reduced fat Alfredo sauce. I have also made the Theriault-rose variation with both a jar of reduced fat Alfredo sauce along with a jar of rich red pasta sauce. Additionally, I have used a number of combinations of seafood, but I feel certain it would be just as good without seafood.
Some of the ingredients to gather for making this recipe.
Finally, another tasty variation of this recipe that John and I have created with the leftovers is to pour the uneaten portion of pasta and sauce into a prepared casserole dish. Then coat foil with nonstick cooking spray, before covering the leftovers, and storing in refrigerator. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Next, remove foil long enough to add desired toppings, such as shredded cheese, gluten free breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, and/or bacon bits. Then, recover with same foil and bake 20-25 minutes until sauce begins to bubble. Finally, remove foil and continue baking for an additional 10-15 minutes until top begins to brown.
Take any leftovers, place in prepared casserole dish, and top with your favorite shredded cheese, nutritional yeast, gluten-free bread crumbs, bacon bit, and/or so forth.
This is a great recipe to make on a busy work night because it can be thrown together quickly; and, if you are only serving 2-3 people, you should have enough leftovers for another meal! Likewise, if you are feeding a family of 4-6, you will have plenty of servings for everyone, with a leftover dish or two for lunch packing.
From my home to yours, I wish you healthy, happy, and homemade meals!
Cooks up in one pot, pasta and all! Makes for easy clean-up and a tasty, quick dinner!
Gluten Free Seafood Pasta with Zucchini Noodles
Serves 6-8 (Leftovers are great baked in a casserole dish and topped with optional toppings; such as, parmesan cheese, other shredded cheeses, bacon bits, nutritional yeast, and/or gluten-free bread crumbs)
Can also be made vegan or vegetarian.
2 (12-ounce) packages of zucchini noodles (We like Green Giant frozen bags.)
1 (8-ounce) package favorite gluten free pasta (We like POW lentil pasta or Banza Chickpea Pasta.)
Your favorite style of seafood, enough for 6-8 servings, examples include: lump crabmeat or claw meat, clams, baby shrimp, imitation flaked crab meat, lobster, etc . . . (Obviously, if preparing this as a vegan or vegetarian recipe, you would leave out seafood.)
2 jars of favorite pasta sauce (We like Bertolli Reduced Fat Alfredo Sauce and/or Muir Glen Organic Portabella Mushroom Pasta Sauce.)
½ cup favorite clear broth, such as vegetable broth or chicken bone broth
½ cup water
¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese (nutritional yeast could be substituted for vegan version)
1-tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
½ teaspoon Bragg’s liquid aminos (Can substitute salt)
Use the following seasonings to taste:
–Red pepper flakes
Coat large pot with nonstick cooking spray and place pot on medium heat.
Empty contents of both pasta sauces into pot.
Fill one empty sauce jar with ½ cup clear broth, cover tightly with original lid, shake well, and empty into pot.
Fill other jar with ½ cup water, cover tightly with original lid, shake well, and empty into pot.
Stir in uncooked pasta noodles.
Meanwhile, follow microwave directions for heating/thawing zucchini noodles, one package at a time. (I typically reduce cooking time by 2-3 minutes. I just want zucchini slightly warmed.)
Drain water from zucchini package before stirring into pot.
Once both packages of zucchini noodles have been added to sauce and pasta, stir well, and continue simmering over medium heat, checking to ensure nothing is sticking to bottom of pot. If, at any time, sticking begins to occur, gradually reduce heat, but try to maintain a simmer.
Begin to stir in desired seafood.
Next, stir in parmesan cheese (and/or nutritional yeast if using)
Finally, stir in seasonings. (If I had to guess, I would say I use ½ or more teaspoon of both Italian seasoning and onion powder; and ¼ or more teaspoons of black pepper and red pepper flakes.)
Stir well and continue simmering for 10, or more, minutes until pasta is al dente.
Reduce heat to low and cover. Allow dish to rest in pot for 10, or more, minutes.