Authentic Greek Pita Bread

Authentic Greek Pita Bread

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

Have you ever noticed the big difference between Greek Pita Bread from your grocery store and the ones served in a Greek restaurant? Whenever we eat gyros or souvlaki at a Greek restaurant we always remark how good the pita bread is. Store-bought brands just don't cut it! We decided to try making our own when we came across what looked like an easy recipe. As it turned out the recipe was very easy and after making them we were hooked! No more store-bought for us. This recipe makes fluffier, more tender & much more flavorful pita bread and you'll never want to go back to store-bought again! There are so many uses for pita bread. Whether to scoop up an appetizer dip like hummus, tzatziki or eggplant spread or to be used in place of sandwich bread for gyros or souvlaki, they will definitely stand out and delight! 😋

Ingredients

  • 160 ml whole milk, room temperature
  • 80 ml water, room temperature
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons EVOO
  • 2 tsp dry yeast
  • 320 g bread flour (aka Hard flour due to the higher protein content)
  • 1 tsp fleur de sel
  • 1½ tsp fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO, for frying
  • salt & Pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, yeast, water & milk. Set aside until the mixture starts to froth, about 5 minutes.
  2. In a larger bowl, combine the flour, salt, and chopped fresh thyme leaves. Stir well.
  3. Add the EVOO to the yeast mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture a little at a time. Make sure each batch added is well incorporated before adding more.
  5. Transfer mixture to a lightly floured work surface. Knead for 4-5 minutes until the dough becomes smooth.
  6. Brush a large bowl with a little EVOO then add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest 40 minutes until it doubles in size.
  7. Place a flat non-stick griddle pan over medium heat. Let the pan get hot.
  8. Lightly oil your work surface then press on the dough to remove the air and cut it into 6 equal size pieces (or as close to equal as you can).
  9. Using a rolling pin,  roll out a ball of dough to a circle about 7-8 inches in diameter. (Mine came out a little rectangular so I went with it!)
  10. The griddle or pan will be hot enough now. Place the first pita bread directly on the hot griddle and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Once they start to puff up, use tongs to flip over and cook 1-2 minutes. You will have nicely browned or charred bubbles. Remove from heat and place on a serving dish. Continue cooking the remaining dough balls, 1 pita bread at a time until finished.
  11. Sprinkle with chopped thyme before serving.
  12. Serve warm with chicken gyros, souvlaki, hummus, or tzatziki sauce.

Notes: While the first pita bread is cooking, roll out the next one so it’s ready to go in the hot pan as soon as you remove the cooked one.

Recipe adapted from Akis Petretzikis.

 

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Mediterranean Steak Bowls, Gluten-Free

Mediterranean Steak Bowls, Gluten-Free

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

I was looking in my freezer to see what I could make for dinner without having to go the market. I found 2 small NY strip steaks that I defrosted for Gary to grill on the barbeque. I had most of the other ingredients for this delicious and healthy dinner. The best part...it's served all in one bowl. You can make this with what you have on hand, including chicken, beef, or lamb for the protein. The yogurt dressing is wonderful and blends all the flavors together. I could eat this dish every night of the week...it's that good. Give it a try.

Ingredients

For the Bowls:

  • 1 lb. NY strip steak (may substitute with flank steak, sirloin steak, chicken breast or lamb)
  • 2 tsp EVOO
  • salt, pepper, garlic powder (to season steak)
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped to your size liking (about 12 cups)
  • 1 large cucumber, quartered & cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/4 medium red onion, finely sliced or chopped
  • 1-pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
  • 1 cup hummus (I used Sabra Roasted Pine Nut Hummus & added 1 clove finely minced garlic)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled fetta cheese
  • lemon wedges (optional)

For the Yogurt Dressing:

  • 1 cup plain yogurt (I used Cabot Greek whole milk yogurt)
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely minced
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tsp fresh mint, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried mint)

Directions

For the Dressing:

  1. In a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk together.  Place in the fridge until ready to use. This dressing can be stored up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

For the Bowls:

  1. Preheat the grill to high heat (approximately 450ºF).
  2. Pat the steak with paper towels until dry. Brush steaks with EVOO then sprinkle with salt, pepper & a little garlic powder.
  3. When the grill is hot enough, place the steak on the grill for 3 minutes then flip and grill an additional 3 minutes for medium-rare or until an instant-read thermometer reads 140ºF.  Grill longer for thicker steak. Our steaks were about 1-inch thick before grilling.
  4. Remove steak from the grill and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Slice thin against the grain.
  5. While the steak is resting, divide the chopped lettuce between 4 bowls. Top with sliced steak, red onions, hummus, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese.
  6. Spoon yogurt dressing on top and garnish with optional lemon wedges.

Notes: In place of slicing the red onion thin, you can cut them into 1-inch pieces & place on skewers with the tomatoes. Grill for about 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally until tomatoes start to blister & onions are softened.

Recipe adapted from Jessica Beacom.

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Fish Fillet Roll-ups with Stewed Tomatoes

Fish Fillet Roll-ups with Stewed Tomatoes

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

Who knew our Mom was cooking the Mediterranean Diet style long before it was ever acknowledged to be such a healthy way of eating? She used to prepare flounder fillets this way in order to disguise the fish so we would eat it. She was really onto something as we thought it tasted like pizza! I guess she fooled us alright...we loved it! Our local fish market was out of flounder but the cod looked great & was on sale so we adapted Mom's recipe using the fresh cod. If fresh fish isn't available where you live, by all means, use frozen and make sure you defrost it thoroughly & remove any bones before preparing. If your little ones don't like fish try telling them they're 'pizza style roll-ups' and give them a try. We won't tell!

Ingredients

  • 2½ – 3 lbs white fish fillets (cod or flounder) fresh or frozen & thawed
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs (or gluten-free bread crumbs if gluten is an issue)
  • 2 Tablespoons dried oregano plus more for topping
  • 1 tsp sea salt, more or less to taste
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons or more Pecorino Romano grated cheese
  • EVOO to drizzle over fillets & casserole dish
  • 2 cans Stewed tomatoes with juice
  • large toothpicks to seal fillets while baking

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
  2. Pat fish fillets dry with paper towels.
  3. Drizzle a little EVOO over each fillet. Rub the minced garlic on each fillet then sprinkle all seasonings starting with salt, pepper, oregano, bread crumbs, and grated cheese.
  4. In a 2 quart casserole, drizzle a small amount of EVOO on the bottom of the dish. Roll-up each fillet and place in casserole.
  5. Pour the stewed tomatoes over the fish roll-ups then place a large toothpick into each fillet to prevent them from opening. Sprinkle additional oregano, salt & pepper on top of the stewed tomatoes.
  6. Place in preheated oven and bake at 400ºF until fish flakes, about 20-25 minutes. Remember, these fillets are rolled up so they will take longer to flake.
  7. Remove from casserole and plate with your favorite salad and vegetable.

 

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Pasta Fasùl (Pasta Fagioli)

Pasta Fasùl (Pasta Fagioli)

  • Servings: 6-8 as a main dish
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

Growing up in our Italian American household we could always count on one of our favorite meatless meals on a Friday night...Pasta Fasùl. Depending upon the region of Italy your family is from, you may know it as pasta fagioli or pasta fasùl (fazool). Our grandparents were from Naples and Sicily, which shared the same word for beans, fasùl. Technically this dish is a soup; however, we loved it best when most of the liquid dried up & was topped with lots of grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Our Mom always made this with small or medium-sized pasta shells; however, you can use any small pasta in your pantry as we did tonight. This is a very rustic meal but can be dressed up with the addition of any vegetable you have on hand, i.e. spinach, carrots, zucchini or escarole.  To complete this meal, serve with a side salad. Give it a try on those nights you're pressed for time and let us know how you and your family like it.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. medium or small pasta shells or elbow pasta (we used ditalini as that’s what we had on hand)
  • 10 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 cans cannellini beans, do not rinse or drain the liquid
  • 1 cup prepared tomato sauce (preferably homemade or your favorite jar sauce)
  • 1 small can tomato paste plus same can filled with water to dilute
  • salt to taste
  • reserve at least 1 cup cooked pasta water
  • Pecorino Romano grated cheese for topping

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a Tablespoon of salt then add pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions. Before draining reserve at least 1 cup of the pasta water then drain pasta & set aside in a large bowl.
  2. In a large, deep skillet on medium heat add EVOO. Add smashed garlic & sauté a minute or two but don’t burn.
  3. Add the 4 cans of cannellini beans and stir well until they begin to boil. Lower heat to medium-low and add 1 cup prepared sauce & small can of tomato paste with a small can of water. Add a little of the reserved pasta water if too thick. Combine well and continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. If you prefer a soupier pasta fasùl just add more of the reserved pasta water until it’s the consistency you like.
  5. Let sit for 5-10 minutes in a covered pot before serving.
  6. Top with grated cheese & garnish with fresh basil or parsley (optional)

NOTE: To make this meal gluten-free, just substitute any small-sized gluten-free pasta in place of regular pasta.

This dish thickens as it sits so if you want a thinner sauce, add more liquid in step 3-4 while cooking.

 

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Meatless Mediterranean Pasta with Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes & Pignoli, Gluten-Free

Meatless Mediterranean Pasta with Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes & Pignoli, Gluten-Free

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

After our holiday baking was over, we had pignoli left over so we came up with this delicious, healthy recipe to kickstart 2020. Our first recipe for the new year is a meatless Mediterranean dish. In spite of our husbands' carnivore appetites, this meatless dish satisfied them both...we were in heaven! This recipe delivers an exciting depth of flavor with a wonderful blending of ingredients. We think you and your family will love it.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds zucchini and yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise & sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 1/3 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 Tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 pound gluten-free pasta (we used Le Veneziane gluten-Free Farfalle)
  • 12 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • Grated Pecorino Romano

Directions

  1. After cutting the zucchini and summer squash, sprinkle with approximately 1 Tablespoon of kosher salt and let drain in a colander for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels & wipe away residual salt. Set aside.
  2. While squash is draining, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, lower flame to simmer until ready to cook pasta.
  3. In a 12-inch non=stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of EVOO over high heat. Once it starts to smoke, add half the squash and cook until slightly charred, turning occasionally, approximately 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat if the skillet starts to overheat. Transfer to a large plate then repeat step 3 with the remaining half of squash and another tablespoon of EVOO. Transfer 2nd batch to plate and set aside.
  4. Bring water to full boil and add salt then the pasta. Cook according to package directions, reserving 1 cup of cooked pasta water.
  5. In the same skillet, heat another tablespoon of EVOO. Add pignoli and toast lightly, then add red onion, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook approximately 1 minute until fragrant.
  6. Drain pasta (reserve 1 cup of pasta water) then return pasta to the pot. Add the squash, tomatoes, pignoli mixture, vinegar, basil, and remaining 2 Tablespoons of EVOO. Mix well to combine.
  7. Add enough reserved pasta water to keep moist consistency but not soupy. You may not need the whole cup. Lightly drizzle with EVOO and top with grated cheese.

 

Note:  If gluten is not an issue, use your favorite brand of pasta. If your family must have meat, feel free to add whatever they like. 

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.

 

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Mom’s Christmas Eve Flounder

Mom's Christmas Eve Flounder

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy

Our Christmas Eve dinner always included our Mom's delicious flounder dish which she made every Christmas Eve as long as we can remember. In keeping with our Italian heritage, of course it's made with mozzarella, Pecorino Romano cheese, seasoned breadcrumbs, butter, white wine, herbs, and garlic... lots of garlic! Christmas Eve just wouldn't be the same without it. Mom's handwritten recipe listed ingredients only... no measurements so our first attempt was a disaster!!! We knew it was missing something but we weren't quite sure what it was because we followed her ingredient list to the letter.  We finally realized the missing ingredient was garlic... she obviously thought it was a given & not necessary to write it down! We're happy to share this family favorite with you and hope your family enjoys it as much as our family does.  ❤️❤️

Ingredients

  • 2-2½ lbs flounder fillets (all skin & bones removed)
  • salted butter
  • 5 Tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs (about 1½ Tablespoons for each layer; more or less to taste)
  • 3 tsp dried oregano (1 tsp for each layer)
  • 3 tsp dried thyme (1 tsp for each layer)
  • 6 Tablespoons Pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 2 Tablespoons per layer; more or less to taste)
  • 8 oz whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded or thinly sliced
  • 6 large cloves garlic, smashed then minced
  • salt & pepper to taste, optional
  • 3 Tablespoons Chardonnay wine

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  2. Grease a 24-ounce oval au gratin dish (or an 8 x 8-inch glass pyrex) baking dish with butter. (We used Le Creuset Heritage Stoneware 24-Ounce Oval Au Gratin Dish)
  3. Place fish fillets to cover the bottom of the baking dish.
  4. Place a few small pats of butter on fish fillets.
  5. Spread 1/3 of the garlic over the fish fillets.
  6. Sprinkle with dried thyme and oregano.
  7. Sprinkle with Pecorino Romano cheese to cover fish.
  8. Sprinkle with seasoned bread crumbs then top with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  9. Repeat steps 3 – 8 for two more layers. (There should be 3 layers in total)
  10. Top with small pats of butter and sprinkle 3 Tablespoons of Chardonnay on top.
  11. Bake at 400ºF until fish flakes, approximately 25-30 minutes.

Notes: For a gluten-free version use Gluten-Free Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs.

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Low Carb Mediterranean Shrimp 🍤🍤

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: Easy

This quick and easy sheet pan meal is a delicious Mediterranean dish that doesn't disappoint. Not only is it delicious with shrimp but you can substitute the shrimp with cooked rotisserie chicken too! I had all the ingredients on hand so no extra shopping was needed. I just had to defrost the shrimp in the morning and prep was unbelievably fast. If you're not watching carbs then serve this over pasta or rice. I served mine over red leaf lettuce while my husband had it over rice. We both loved it.😋 😋

Ingredients

  • 1 lb large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined with tails on or off (your preference)
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes (or more if you like the heat)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, halved
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice, divided
  • 3 Tablespoons EVOO, divided 2 + 1
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • lemon wedges, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. Using a rimmed baking sheet, toss the shallots, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, tomatoes, olives, 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, & 2 tablespoons of the EVOO.
  3. Roast for 5 minutes, or until the shallots & garlic are starting to brown.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook 5 minutes more, or until shrimp are done. *
  5. Stir in the feta, parsley and the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice and EVOO.
  6. Toss gently and serve hot over a bed of lettuce for a delicious low carb meal.

Notes: * If substituting with cooked, rotisserie chicken,  cook just to heat the chicken in step 4.

This is a light dish which will serve 2-3. Double the recipe for more servings.

Recipe adapted from Zenbelly.

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Low Carb Zucchini Shrimp Scampi 🍤🍤

Servings: 4-6            Prep: 15 minutes                  Cook Time: 10 minutes

One of our favorite all-time meals to eat is Shrimp Scampi over linguine pasta, topped with Pecorino Romano grated cheese, some crusty Italian bread to soak up the lemony butter sauce and we’re in heaven!  Since Barbara is back on Keto, we wanted to come up with the same delicious flavor without the carbs. Zucchini is an amazing vegetable that takes the place of pasta and delivers all the delicious flavor of our original shrimp scampi recipe. We decided to make a one-pan dish so we used the electric skillet. It’s large and can accommodate all the shrimp in a single layer plus all the spiralized zucchini.  If your watching carbs, please give it a try. We promise you will not miss the pasta!  😋 😋

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs large raw shrimp
  • 2 sticks salted butter
  • 10 medium zucchini and/or summer squash, spiralized
  • 1/2 stick salted butter for zucchini
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 8 Dorot frozen garlic cubes (we use for consistency)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • lemon slices for garnish (optional)
  • Pecorino Romano, grated

Instructions

  1. Remove shells from shrimp, leaving the shell on the tail section if desired.
  2. Devein then wash under running cold water, and drain on paper towels; pat dry.
  3. In the electric skillet on the warmest setting, melt 2 sticks of salted butter.
  4. When butter is melted, add the salt, garlic, and 2 Tablespoon parsley; mix well.
  5. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in the skillet.
  6. Raise skillet temperature to 300ºF. As soon as shrimp start to turn pink (1 or 2 minutes) quickly turn the shrimp over and ower to warm setting again.
  7. Sprinkle with lemon peel, lemon juice, and remaining parsley. Raise temperature to 300ºF.
  8. Cook about 1-2 minutes longer or just until shrimp are tender. Do Not overcook shrimp or they will be tough.  (If using smaller shrimp, cut down on the cooking time)
  9. Remove shrimp with half the scampi sauce and set aside in a bowl.
  10. Add the 1/2 stick of butter to the skillet then add the spiralized zucchini to the scampi sauce and stir well to coat with sauce. Cover and cook until zucchini are soft but not overcooked.
  11. Arrange the desired amount of zucchini noodles (zoodles) in a pasta dish then top with shrimp. Add some of the reserved scampi sauce on top. Grate some Pecorino Romano cheese and garnish with a thin slice of lemon (optional).

Notes: If you don’t have an electric skillet please use our oven method Shrimp Scampi recipe then cook the zucchini separate using 1/2 stick butter in a large skillet with half the scampi sauce reserve from shrimp cooked in the oven.

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Pesto Fish Fillets


  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Easy

This summer we have an abundance of basil from both our hay bale gardens and have been making pesto like crazy. Not only is pesto delicious on pasta but it's just as delicious on fish, vegetables, chicken or just about anything! Last year our friend Jane grew tomatoes and basil in hay bales...we grew ours in traditional dirt. The difference was amazing...the hay bale crop far exceeded the traditional dirt crop and made us and Gary believers. Gary bought the bales at the local hardware store then quickly got to preparing them with fertilizer and water. After two weeks of daily watering, we planted our basil and tomatoes along with some other herbs and couldn't be happier with the results. If you never tried this method before, it's definitely worth the minimal effort.😋😋

Ingredients

Pesto Sauce Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons Pignoli Nuts (Italian pine nuts)
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2  cups fresh sweet Italian basil leaves, packed tightly (approximately 2 very large bunches)
  • 8 Tablespoons EVOO, preferably Ligurian as it makes a big difference in taste
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated

Directions

Pesto Sauce Directions

  1. In a food processor add pignoli nuts, salt, and garlic cloves. Pulse into a smooth paste.
  2. Add the basil in small amounts then pulse after each addition, until all the basil has been added and the mixture is creamy & smooth. Slowly (slow is key here) add the EVOO until emulsified.
  3. Add cheese and pulse to incorporate.
  4. If too dry add additional EVOO slowly, 1 Tablespoon at a time.

Notes: Pesto fish was served with our Jasmine Rice Pilaf side dish.

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Zoodle Spaghetti – Twiins Style


  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy

The other night we were so engrossed with updating this blog that we completely forgot about dinner! We realized it at 5:00 pm! After searching in the refrigerator we found country sausage, zucchini, and some leftover tomato sauce so we whipped up a really quick & tasty dinner. On nights when you are pressed for time, this recipe is not only quick & easy but also delicious, healthy & satisfying. There's a bonus too... it's low carb, keto-friendly, and gluten-free. You won't miss the pasta at all. Our family loves it with ricotta cheese on top...it's delicious! Give it a try and let us hear from you. 😋😋

Ingredients

  • Spiralizer (we use the Veggetti-Pro Tabletop Spiral Vegetable Cutter, thick spiral blade)
  • 6 medium zucchini
  • 2 cloves garlic (we use Dorot frozen cubes for consistency)
  • 1 lb bulk Neese’s Sausage, hot or regular
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup pre-made tomato sauce (more or less depending on your preference)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ricotta (for topping)
  • Pecorino Romano cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Wash unpeeled zucchini then dry well. Cut the end stem from one end of the zucchini then using the spiralizer thick ribbon blade, spiralize all the zucchini. Set aside.
  2.  In a large hot skillet place the bulk sausage and brown completely on all sides, crumbling the sausage as it cooks.
  3. Add the garlic and continue cooking another minute. Stir well then add the butter combining well.
  4. Add the zucchini spirals and mix with the sausage.
  5. Cook until zucchini is soft or al dente then add a cup of pre-made tomato sauce and mix well. Heat until sauce is hot. Remove from heat.
  6. Serve in a pasta dish and sprinkle with grated Pecorino Ramano cheese then top with a dollop of creamy ricotta cheese and enjoy.

Notes:  Additional tomato sauce may be added depending on your preference. For those of you who must have pasta, just cook up a little gluten-free pasta (or regular pasta if gluten is not a health issue) and add the cooked pasta at the end to combine with the zoodles.

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.


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