Spaghetti Puttanesca with Matchstick Zucchini


Spaghetti Puttanesca



“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Have you every noticed that there seems to be a day or a month for just about every thing? There’s Take Your Kid to Work Day, Secretary’s Day, and Talk Like a Pirate Day. There are also month long celebrations, too. October happens to be National Pasta Month, so along with the Recipe Redux I am ready to cook up some pasta.

Let’s face it, pasta has been getting a bad rap lately. With the craze of the Paleo diet that eliminates starch, the new CDC diet recommendations calling for more vegetables, and more people eating a gluten free diet, I could be wrong, but it seems to me that there is less space for carbs like pasta. Well, pasta is great! Why give up something that is so enjoyable to eat? Really. Whole grain pasta is a good source of tryptophan that helps convert to seritonin, which is key to fighting insomnia, depression, and irritability. And whole grains help a person to feel full longer.

My solution is to have the pasta and eat it too. Add some vegetables into the mix for a more balanced diet. In this way you still get the wonderful taste pasta, with all the of benefits of whole grains and vegetables.

This recipe for Spaghetti Puttanesca with Matchstick Zucchini is a quick and easy meal to make for the busy family. My favorite way to eat it is paired with a side salad, and for heartier fare it can be paired with chicken or beef for a delicious protein rich healthy meal. Omit the anchovies for the vegetarian and vegan options.

References: – whole-grains-good-mood-food – whole-grains-and-other-complex-carbs-elevate-calming-serotonin

Spaghetti Puttanesca with Matchstick Zucchini

Cook Time: 8 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

5 Servings

Spaghetti Puttanesca with Matchstick Zucchini


  • 10 ounces dry whole grain pasta
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons pitted and chopped black olives
  • 1 can anchovies, about 6 filets, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cappers, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 cup cooked homemade tomato sauce, or your favorite brand
  • ¼ pound feta cheese, crumbled


  1. Wash the zucchini and cut off the ends of the so they measure about 5 inches long.
  2. Use a mandolin, or a knife and your good judgment to eyeball where you make your cuts, and slice the zucchini to 3/8 inch thickness (a little less than ¼ inch).
  3. Stack up a few slices of the zucchini and slice along the length to make long matchsticks. Set the zucchini aside.
  4. Put on a small pot of lightly salted water to boil. (Later you will lightly boil the zucchini.)
  5. Cook the pasta.
  6. While the spaghetti is cooking, Place 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet and then add the garlic, stir for 15 seconds and then add the red pepper flakes, anchovies, black olives, green onion, oregano, parsley and tomato sauce. Stir well to mix and then turn off the heat.
  7. Cook the zucchini in the boiling water just until tender, about 40 seconds, and then strain. Add the zucchini to the tomato mixture.
  8. Strain the pasta when the spaghetti is at the al dente stage, still slightly firm to the bite. Place the pasta in a large serving bowl, and to it add the zucchini tomato mixture. Stir well to mix. Serve in pasta bowls and top with the crumbled feta cheese.

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Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs with San Marzano Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs with San Marzano Tomato Sauce

Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs with San Marzano Tomato Sauce


Yesterday, if you asked me what my favorite vegetable was, I might have answered bell pepper, spinach, or corn. Today, as I considered the tomato, the vegetable for this week’s Power Foods blog group, I realized that the tomato has been my favorite vegetable all along. We consume it baked, grilled, roasted, and served in salads, soups, stews, vegetable pies, tarts, dips, condiments, and other ways I’m sure you have in mind.

What you should know about tomatoes is that they are high in lycopene, which gives many fruits and vegetables their red color. Lycopene offers excellent antioxidant protection to help reduce to risk of several types of cancer including prostrate, and breast cancer, and it also supports the cardiovascular system and bone health. Cooked tomatoes offer more lycopene than raw tomatoes.

In the Real Estate business it’s location, location, location; in the food business it’s ingredients, ingredients, ingredients. If you’ve never had pasta sauce with San Marzano tomatoes, you’re in for a treat. This recipe for spaghetti and turkey meatballs with San Marzano tomatoes is delizioso! These tomatoes grow mainly in the area of Napoli and Solerno, Italy. Real San Marzano tomatoes must have a D.O.P label on it (Denominazione d’Origine Protetta) so you know that you’re getting the real thing. You will see the D.O.P on the front label and certification seals on the side of the label. However, just like prime location costs a pretty penny, so do prime ingredients. A 28-ounce can ranges from $5 to $6 in most supermarkets.


Servings: 7 to 8          Prep Time: 20 minutes        Total Time: 2 hours



For the sauce:

1 onion, finely chopped

3 large cloves garlic

1-½ tablespoons olive oil

2 28-ounce cans whole San Marzano Tomatoes

½ cup fresh chopped basil, or 1/3 cup fresh chopped oregano

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon natural cane sugar

¼ to ½ teaspoon salt

For the pasta and the meatballs:

1 lb. whole wheat pasta (I use Barilla)

1-1/3 lbs. ground turkey

3 large cloves garlic, minced

½ cup onion, minced

1/3 cup chopped parsley

½ cup fresh ground breadcrumbs, or dry crumbs

1 egg

¾ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper



1. Start the tomato sauce by getting out an 8-10 quart stainless steel, or ceramic stockpot, and then sauté the minced onion in 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic after 5 minutes, and then cook the mixture until the onions are translucent. Blend the tomatoes and add them to the pot, or use a handheld blender and blend them directly in the pot. Cook over medium-low heat one half hour, stirring regularly.

2. Prepare the turkey meatballs while the sauce is cooking. Sauté the ½ cup onion with the minced garlic in a little olive oil, until the onion is translucent. Set it aside to cool, and then mix the onions with the other meatball ingredients and shape them into balls about 1-1/4 inch large. Split them into two batches and brown them, one batch at a time, in 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil. (Don’t cook them all the way through, just brown them lightly.) Set them aside until the sauce has cooked one hour.

3. After the sauce has cooked about for an hour, add the turkey meatballs to the sauce along with 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon cane sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the ½ cup chopped basil. Continue cooking until the sauce has thickened, about 40 to 50 more minutes. Check seasonings.

4. When the sauce and meatballs are almost done, heat a pot of water to cook the pasta. Follow the instructions on the box and cook to the al dente stage.

Serve with a large green salad and enjoy!



Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with the 38 healthiest ingredients


If you are a blogger and would like to take part in our group blogging about Power Foods: 150 Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients, (from the editors at Martha Stewart’s Living Magazine) we’d love to have your company. Contact: Mireya(at) for details.


Check out what these other bloggers have cooked up!

Alanna – Kitchen Parade Veggie Adventure – Alyce – More Time at the Table, Ansh – Spice Roots,  Casey –SweetSav  Jeanette – Jeanette’s Healthy Living, Jill – Saucy Cooks Martha – Simple-Nourished-Living, Mireya – My Healthy Eating Habits

This recipe is also posted at  Pennywise PlatterFull Plate Thursday, and Whole Foods Wednesday, and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday