It is a ton of fun to make noodles out of veggies. As previously mentioned , I have a simple vegi-noodle-making device that I picked up from a discount retail store. It does a perfectly satisfactory job turning sweet potatoes, cucumbers and zucchini into pasta shaped strips.
But what is a gal to do when she gets the idea to make spaghetti out of an eggplant? I went my local Asian Market to get a bag full of purple-phallus-shaped-Japanese-eggplant thinking “these will be PERFECT for shoving into my cheapo veggie-noodler since they are already the right shape and size!
The Japanese eggplants turned out to be uncooperative assholes. I felt like I was trying to sharpen a sponge in a pencil sharpener. SUPER DISAPPOINTING.
Did I let it stop me? HELLZ NO!
Next Strategy: Fancy-Mandoline-that-was-a-much-appreciated-gift-because-I-would-not-spend-that-much-money-on-Myself! I pushed enough buttons and turned enough knobs that eventually it revealed a row of upright razors in addition to the normal straight cutting edge. I peeled the eggplant, tossed aside the recommended safety veggie-holding apparatus and went-to-town.
Zip ZipZip. Beautiful noodles… Until I got about halfway through the eggplant and then I was back to the ol’ “sponge in a pencil sharpener” problem. However, once I start making a little progress I cannot be derailed, so I proceeded by hand and was able to make nice noodles using a paring knife and a cutting board.
So really, it’s not HOW you get the noodles that’s important, it’s what you DO with them that really makes this lunacy seem like a perfectly valid expenditure of energy!
Eggplant Noodle Spaghetti
4 cups eggplant “spaghetti noodles”
6 cups water
¼ cup salt
1 Tbs olive oil (or preferred oil)
1 cup low carb marinara sauce (like this one!)
Dissolve salt in the water in a large pot or bowl. You may be thinking “WTF?!?!? ¼ CUPS of SALT?!?!?” I know. It’s scary. It’s brine now. Just do it and move on 😉
Submerge your freshly “noodled” eggplant into the brine. You may have to set something over the noodles to hold them under. Let them soak for at least 30 minutes.
Remove the noodles from the water and spread them out on a clean, dry towel (it’s even better if the towel is doubled or tripled over).
Cover the noodles with more layers of clean, dry towel and place something flat with a bit of heft on top of it (imagine the process involved for preserving plants for your plant collection in school. This is similar, except you probably don’t want to put the noodles in your favorite hard-backed tome.)
**I like to start this process a full day before I plan to eat it. I swap out the damp towels for dry towels at least once. However, you could achieve satisfactory results after a couple of hours of the noodles being pressed.
Once your “noodles” are ready, heat your oil in a skillet and then add the noodles. Toss the noodles to evenly coat with the oil. I love it if the noodles get a tiny bit seared… it really brings out an amazing nutty flavor. Once noodles are sufficiently seared and softened, top with 1/2 cup marinara and serve immediately.
Makes 2 Servings