Saturday is frequently Farmer’s Market day. I LOVE visiting a good farmer’s market and we have a really nice one here in Jacksonville Florida over on West Beaver Street. The Jacksonville Farmer’s Market is open year round and everyday of the week as well which is awesome! Not only do they have locally sourced vegetables and fruits, but artisan breads, jams, pies and more, along with fresh eggs, live stock and sea food as well. Today I picked up some fresh zucchini, a whole box of gorgeous big beef eater tomatoes and some freshly caught Colossal Mayport Shrimp… that sounded like a steaming bowl of Shrimp Diavolo (spicy shrimp) over pasta (zucchini noodles) to me!
The first thing to do is start your sauce. I build mine from scratch and over the course of an hour it develops the richness and depth of a fully cooked sauce. I used three big, beautiful fully ripe tomatoes that were still warn from the sun at the market. I sliced each tomato in half and set one of the halves aside to be diced. The rest I gave a rough chop and tossed into my Ninja with a handful of fresh garlic and the end pieces of five zucchini’s after I spiral sliced them for our gluten free pasta. I added some fresh basil leaves to that and pureed all of it with a cup of Swanson’s Chicken Stock, you could also use Vegetable or Seafood Stock to remain purely Pescatarian but for my current diet I required no sugar so I went with the chicken. After it was all in the bowl I processed it to a smooth creamy puree. It smells so fresh, if I added a little lime juice it would make a great gazpacho! I seasoned this up with dried Italian herbs, onion powder, a minced shallot, red pepper flakes, cumin, smoked paprika, pink Himalayan salt, and chives and stirred it well. I also diced up the zucchini spines from each of the zucchinis I spiral sliced, there is always a tube from the center left over with an end piece. The end pieces I used in the puree, but the tubes I dice up into tidy little zucchini pills to add to my sauce along with the half a tomato that I diced earlier. After bringing it to a bubble, I lowered the heat and let it simmer for awhile. It will go from a pink sauce to a rich red after about an hour stove top. You can also opt to add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste for an even deeper sauce.
If you do not have a spiral slicer, GET ONE! Oh man, do I love this thing! It only takes a couple minutes and I have piles of fresh gluten free pasta. It is also great for curly fries, making ribbons for fancy salads and more! Plus your “pasta” choices are wide open; in this case I used fresh zucchini I picked up at the market that were harvested locally this week. Other options include sweet potatoes, winter squash, rutabagas, I have even made spiral apple slices for a killer fruit salad. Like I said, get a spiral slicer. I have a Spirooli but recently saw the spiral slicer attachment for Kitchenaid and was drooling. Once you have a pile of zoodles, use some kitchen shears to cut them down to a more manageable length.
I mentioned I also picked up a pound of colossal Mayport Shrimp. Mayport is right here on the beach in Jacksonville and there are fleets of shrimpers that bring in their catch here every day. Colossal shrimp are not only jumbo sized but are known worldwide for their sweet flavor and hearty texture. Shrimp Diavolo or Shrimp Fra Diavolo is a garlicky, spicy classic dish that can often be very hot, but you can adjust the heat to your tastes by adding more or less red pepper. My husband is the chief peeler and deveiner of all things shrimp in our house, I am blessed that way.
Once your sauce has deepened in color, taste and adjust the seasonings. Turn the heat up a notch and lay in those succulent shrimp. Allow them to cook in the bubbling sauce for about 2 minutes on each side until all of them are a lovely pink. Lower the heat to warm while you quickly saute your zucchini noodles. I used just a splash of stock and some pink salt, no oil. Use a pair of tongs to keep them moving. Pour the cooked zoodles into a colander and allow them a minute or so to drain before plating. The zucchini loses a lot of water during the cooking process and must be drained just like regular pasta even though it was not cooked in water.
Plate your zoodles and add some fresh shaved Parmesan or some Nutritional Yeast (which is what I did as I am keeping my fats to a minimum) then spoon on some of that spicy sauce, shrimp and more sauce and top it with fresh chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime. Perfecto! This recipe serves four very happy folks!
- 1 lb Colossal Shrimp
- 3 Large Fresh Tomatoes, diced
- 8 Garlic Cloves
- 5 Zucchinis, Spiral sliced with leftover ends and center pieces reserved
- 1 Shallot, minced
- 2 sprigs Fresh Basil
- 1 C Chicken Stock (can sub vegetable or seafood stock here.) Plus extra for cooking.
- 1 T Dried Italian Herbs
- 1½ tsp Onion Powder
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Dried Chives
- Red Pepper Flakes to taste
- Pink Himalayan Salt to taste
- Cracked Black Pepper to taste
- Chopped Cilantro, as garnish
- 1 Lemon, sliced for garnish
- Place 2½ tomatoes in a processor bowl along with garlic, basil, the end pieces for your spiral sliced zucchini and the stock. Puree until smooth.
- Heat a large saute pan and toss shallots and zucchini “pills” (sliced centers from the spiral sliced zucchinis) into the dry pan stirring frequently until they are tender (this recipe calls for no added oils to be used so if you need it add a small splash of stock. If you have no restrictions, you can use a drizzle of olive oil in the pan to cook the shallots and zucchini pieces.)
- Pour the puree into the pan with the cooked shallots and zucchini and season with salt, pepper, dried Italian herbs and chives, smoked paprika, cumin, onion powder and as much or little red pepper flakes as you prefer. Bring to a bubble and then lower the heat to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour to deepen both the color and the flavors.
- Taste to adjust seasoning and raise the heat to medium and add the shrimp to the pan. Allow them to cook in the sauce for two minutes on each side.
- Set the pan on warm on a back burner and saute your zucchini noodles with a splash of stock and some pink salt.
- Strain the zoodles in a colander – give it a shake to remove excess water.
- Plate the noodles and top with Parmesan cheese or Nutritional Yeast and ladle on some sauce and shrimp and garnish with a squeeze of lemon and some fresh chopped cilantro.