Let's just cut to the chase and point out the obvious. That right there? It has cheese on top. Yup. Is cheese Paleo? No.
You may have noticed that a few of my recipes suggest using either butter or coconut oil. After years of experimenting, I have a pretty solid hold on what works well with my body and what doesn't. Certain types of dairy immediately give me a runny nose--fresh milk and cream are the major culprits. So even though I loooove a dash of cream in my coffee or a frothy chai, I tend to stick to non-dairy milk alternatives. Fermented dairy on the other hand usually sits really well with me. Yogurt, cheese, butter... bring it.
Of course, I know that not everyone can say the same thing. So you and dairy don't get along? No sweat. Sprinkle nutritional yeast over these zoodles, and you're all set. I personally rank nutritional yeast pretty high in my list of favorite condiments.
If you are a no-dairy type, you'll love this Vodka Sauce. It gets it's creaminess from coconut milk, making it 100% DF and Paleo. It also won't leave you disappointed--I found myself dumping extra sauce into my second bowl of zoodles because I couldn't get enough. In the end I needed to go get a spoon so that I could slurp it up like soup. And I did, because it was just that good.
My key suggestion is to serve this sauce with spicy Italian sausage. The spicy and robust flavor of the sausage pairs well with the mellow, creamy tang of the vodka sauce. The zoodles are optional, but the pairing of spicy Italian sausage, freshly cooked and swirled into creamy Vodka Sauce--that's a necessity.
Serves: 2-4 | Total Time:
- 8 Roma tomatoes
- 1/2 large yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup vodka, pisco, or verjuice
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
- 1 pound zucchini
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage
- Hard cheese, such as Parmesan
- Heat the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Dice the onion. Sauté the diced onion in the coconut oil until translucent. Mince the garlic, and add that to the pan.
- Dice the tomatoes, and add them to the skillet. Splash in the vodka (or other liquid), and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover pan, and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the tomatoes are soft and beginning to lose their form.
- Scrape the entire mixture into a blender. Add the basil, red pepper flakes, and coconut milk to the blender, and puree until smooth. Return to pan and bring to a simmer to heat as needed.
- Prepare the sausage: place a skillet over a medium flame and cook the sausage in crumbles until cooked through and golden.
- Prepare the zucchini: use a spiralizer to cut the zucchini into thin, long ribbons. Steam in a steam basket for 1-3 minutes, until warm but not soggy.
- To serve: Divide zoodles between serving dishes. Sprinkle with sausage and pour generous amounts of Vodka Sauce over top. Finish with finely shredded parmesan cheese.