carb your appetite…

I have been on a carbohydrate kick these past couple of weeks. Generally, I noticed that whenever I crave comfort food, carbs are what bring me joy. Rice, pasta, bread, and potatoes—they’re really hard to give up.

As often the case, I tend to fill myself with the foods I love. My compulsive nature makes it easy (and normal, at least for me) to eat the same dish daily—sometimes for a whole week!

However, having pasta for two weeks straight has finally reached its physical toll on me: I am bloated.

So today, even though I was craving even more pasta, I decided to lay off the carbs for a while. Well, not too long. I had planned a shrimp dish with fettucine so I replaced the noodles with zucchini instead.

Using my mandoline, I sliced the zucchinis into ribbons to simulate the fettucine. Because the zukes tend to be slightly bitter, I needed my sauce to be able to stand up to them.

Looking in my refrigerator, I came up with mushrooms and roasted bell peppers. I minced the mushrooms and made duxelles. Duxelles are finely chopped mushrooms which are sautéed in butter with shallots, garlic, and herbs–in this case, Italian flat leaf parsley. It is then reduced with white wine (leftover Pinot Gris) until a paste is formed. The reduction creates a highly intense mushroom flavor that lends itself well to sauces, tarts, stuffings,  and soups.

To complete my sauce, I added puréed roasted bell pepper and olive oil. The shrimp and more parsley are then added as the sauce thickens slightly. As for the zucchini “pasta”, I toss them lightly in white wine until slightly soft.

The result, a satisfying dish that made me forget about pasta, even just for a moment.

Shrimp and Sauce Duxelles with Zucchini Ribbons

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