Pasta alla Puttanesca or pasta with puttanesca sauce is my all time favorite pasta dish. However, it is not necessarily something you would find on any weight loss plan, so I like experimenting with other pasta alternatives. I have tried gluten free pastas and they all work really well but the calories are still higher than what I need so I turned to spiral sliced or spiralized vegetable noodles. The usual sort are made from zucchini, we call them zoodles and eat them raw and cooked. But in winter time fresh zucchini are not that plentiful and the specimens available are quite small. Spaghetti squash are plentiful and a viable candidate as well and happens frequently at our house, but it does have a decided sweet note that competes with my robust vegan puttanesca sauce. Then I received my weekly Local Fare Farm Bag and in it was a bunch of lovely rutabagas with their greens. Rutabaga Noodles!! Why not!
Rutabagas are part of the Brassica family similar to Turnips but with a decidedly milder flavor. One cup of cubed rutabagas has only 50 calories as opposed to the 220 calories in a cup of pasta! It really is so simple. You just peel and trim your rutabagas and plug them into your spiral slicer, I have a Spirooli. You can also use a handheld Vegetti style spiral slicer or even a vegetable peeler to make long noodles. I was making dinner for four so I spiralized four rutabagas. Before long I had a whole pile of “pasta”. The coloring is right and with a few snips of my kitchen shears the length was right too. They can be eaten raw, but I prefer to heat them through and soften the texture a bit.
I heat my big wok and spritz it with some coconut oil and dump the contents of my colander into the pan with a pinch of sea salt. Using a pair tongs I just keep moving and tossing the noodles to make sure none stick and they are all evenly cooked. I do not want to over cook them, just heat them through and soften them to an al dente texture.
All that is left to do is serve the noodles with your sauce and top it with some vegan Parmesan cheese, I used Go Veggie brand this time, but you could even use Nutritional Yeast and maybe some fresh parsley. The beauty of these noodles is that they twirl on your fork just like regular pasta, they taste wonderful because they soak up the flavors of the sauce you put on them, and BONUS they only bring 50 calories per serving to your plate (not counting the calories in your sauce). It was decadent and yet guilt free! I served them up with some oven roasted asparagus to rave reviews from my family. My husband even licked his plate… no really, he did.
- 4 Rutabagas, peeled & spiral sliced
- Sea Salt
- Coconut Oil
- Vegan Puttanesca Sauce
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese
- Peel rutabagas and create noodles with either a spiral slicer or vegetable peeler.
- Use kitchen shears to trim noodles down to size
- Preheat Large pan or wok and spritz with coconut oil.
- Dump rutabaga noodles in the pan and season with sea salt.
- Use tongs to toss noodles in the pan and cook for several minutes until heated through and tender but not mushy, you are striving for an al dente texture.
- Serve topped with hot puttanesca sauce and garnish with vegan Parmesan or Nutritional yeast and some fresh parsley.