Spicy, garlicky zucchini pasta is topped with a skillet mixture of sundried tomatoes, crispy broccoli, and crumbled sausage to make this well-rounded meal. Olive oil infused with the flavors of garlic and red pepper flakes is actually what gives the pasta its flavor. The result is a simple but very flavorful dinner that is great for busy weeknights.
To start making this recipe, get the easiest part out of the way. Use a vegetable peeler to slice the zucchini into thin ribbons. Zucchini ribbons make a beautiful “pasta” base for the spicy skillet mixture. You can choose to serve the zucchini ribbons one of two different ways. One option is to serve it raw, in which case it is ready after it is shredded into ribbons. The second option is to briefly cook it in the skillet, in which case you just toss it in with the other ingredients for a couple of minutes at the end of the recipe.
The first ingredient to be cooked is the sausage. Simply brown the sausage in a skillet and use a spoon to crumble it up. While the sausage is cooking, you can make the flavorful spicy infused olive oil. Heat three tablespoons of oil in a separate skillet until it is shimmering but not smoking. Add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1-2 minutes. This allows the flavors to infuse into the olive oil, which will make a big difference in the overall flavor of the dish. You do not want to brown or burn the garlic at this point so watch it closely. Remove the infused olive oil to a small glass bowl and set aside.
Next the broccoli can be cooked in the skillet, which slightly caramelizes it and lends it a wonderful slightly crunchy texture. Add the sundried tomatoes (I used oil-packed sundried tomatoes) with a bit of water, and continue to cook until the water has evaporated. Add the sausage back into the pan and stir everything together. This is also the time when the zucchini pasta should be tossed with the spicy infused olive oil. Serve the skillet mixture over the pasta for an extremely flavorful meal!
- 4 medium zucchini
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 8 oz. Italian sausage, casings removed
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Shred the zucchini into ribbons with a vegetable peeler and place in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Brown the sausage in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Use a spoon to break it into small pieces. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a separate large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Transfer everything to a small glass bowl and set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet. Add the broccoli and sprinkle with salt. Sauté for 8-10 minutes until fork-tender and slightly browned. Add the sundried tomatoes along with 1/3 cup water. Simmer until the water has evaporated. Remove the skillet from heat. Stir in the crumbled sausage and drizzle with lemon juice.
- Toss the zucchini ribbons with the infused olive oil. Spoon the sausage mixture over the pasta to serve.
- Servings: 4
- Difficulty: Medium
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