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Spiralized Zucchini Noodles with Basil Pesto


It looks like a serving bowl full of pasta noodles, doesn't it?  But it's not - it's "spiralized zucchini noodles" and so many people are making these right now, I wanted to make sure you knew about the great gadget that makes these! Whether you are trying to avoid wheat, or trying to cut back on calories or just trying to get rid of a ton of zucchini in your garden, this Spiralizer is for you. When I first served these zucchini noodles to my husband, he thought they were pasta - so did a couple of other people who had them. 

you can get one of these awesome Spiralizers here


I'm one of those people who actually uses the gadgets in my kitchen and I love this one!  This Spiralizer is from Paderno and it works like a dream.  It comes with three different blades and you can use it on all kinds of vegetables and some fruit. I used it on zucchini here, left the "noodles" raw and just tossed it with a simple basil pesto.  It's a snap to clean and the blades store right in the Spiralizer itself.

It is super simple to make these zucchini noodles - start by trimming the ends off the zucchini. The Spiralizer has suction feet on the bottom to make sure it doesn't slip.  Place the zucchini in between the blade and the pronged holder on the handle.  Make sure it's secure and then just start cranking the handle.  Cut the zucchini noodles at intervals with a knife, otherwise you will have four feet long noodles!  After the blade does its work, you will be left with little zucchini pieces that are kind of funny looking.  The blade works around the center of the zucchini and then all that is left is a long stem along with the end piece.


You can serve the zucchini noodles raw or lightly saute them so they are hot. Check out the bottom of this post for more awesome recipes from other bloggers that use this Spiralizer!


Also, I wanted to thank Kristina Gill at Design Sponge for featuring me last week. I've been a big fan of that site for a long time. I developed a recipe for her and she was great fun to work with.  The recipe is a trifle that was inspired by my Sicilian roots - it's lemon cakes brushed with limoncello, spread with a pistachio cream layer and a whipped cream layer.  Pistachios and lemons are used in Sicilian cooking a lot.  The trifle is bright and luscious and goes great with little shots of limoncello.  If you would like to check the recipe out, you can find it here on Design Sponge.  

if you would like a printable recipe of the Sicilian trifle, click here


Spiralized Zucchini Noodles with Basil Pesto

for a printable recipe click here

serves 6

Just like pasta, don't over dress the noodles! Just a light coating of pesto is what you want. 


  • 5 medium zucchini
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese, cut into chunks
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of red hot chili pepper (optional)
  • 1 cup of slightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup olive oil 


Using the Spiralizer, make noodles out of the zucchini.  In a food processor, add the cheese, garlic, a pinch each of salt, pepper and chili pepper. Pulse until fine.  Add the basil leaves and pulse.  Pour the olive oil into the feed tube slowly and pulse.  

Place the zucchini noodles in a large serving bowl.  Add the pesto and toss until all the noodles are coated.  Don't overdress the noodles.  It will take a couple of minutes to get the noodles all coated - just keep tossing.  If the pesto is a little too thick, you can add a little bit more of oil or a little bit of water, but don't overdo it. Serve immediately - you don't want it to sit too long.  


More recipes using the Spiralizer:

Zucchini Noodles with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Cream - Proud Italian Cook
Crispy Garlic Curly Potato Fries - The Housewife in Training Files
Zucchini Noodles and Grilled Shrimp - What's Gaby Cooking
Beet and Zucchini Noodles with Lemon Juice and Honey - Foodists
Cucumber Ribbon Salad with Thai Dressing - Kalyn's Kitchen
Yam Noodles with Sweet Sauce - This Rawsome Vegan Life



Coffee Granita



If it's hot where you are, Italian granitas are a refreshing and delicious way to enjoy something frosty.  They are super simple to make, require only two or three ingredients and everyone loves them.  For this post, I'm showing you how to make a coffee granita, which is popular is Sicily, but once you understand the technique, you can make all kinds of granitas - watermelon, strawberry, lemon, even almond - which is a favorite in Catania.  

Click to read more ...


Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze


Do I need another bundt cake pan?  No.  But I couldn't resist this swirl cake pan from Nordic Ware.  I was picturing all kinds of cakes in it.  Lemon pound cake, Coffee Cake, and of course, chocolate cake.  For this recipe, I'm using my favorite chocolate cake recipe and combining it with a rich red wine chocolate glaze that I spied in Bon Appetit.  Chocolate and red wine are such a great combination, why not combine them in a cake?

Swirl Pan from Nordic Ware


I like this cake because there is no butter or chocolate to melt. You just use cocoa powder and vegetable oil. You can whip up the batter in just a couple of minutes.  The red wine glaze is super easy to make and gets thicker as you let it cool.




Chocolate Cake with Red Wine Glaze


for a printable recipe, click here

for the cake:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour, divided
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

for the red wine glaze:

  • 8 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ stick (¼ cup) butter, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup powdered (confectioner's) sugar
  • ½ cup red wine 



Make the cake:
Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare the bundt can pan by brushing the melted butter all over the surface of the inside of the pan and sprinkling with the 2 tablespoons flour and the 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and shaking it all over to coat the inside. Tap excess out (use more if needed).  Alternatively, you can spray with cooking spray but the cake may not release quite as well.  

Add 2 cups flour, sugar, ¾ cup cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt  to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk thoroughly to combine or, using your paddle attachment, stir through flour mixture until combined well. 

Add milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla to flour mixture and mix together on medium speed until well combined. Reduce speed and carefully add boiling water to the cake batter. Beat on high speed for about 1 minute to add air to the batter.

Pour cake batter into prepared cake pan. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out fairly clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely.

there's almost always lumps in cocoa powder - after 
measuring, be sure to sift it before adding it to batter


Make glaze:

 Heat chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water (bowl should not touch water), stirring, until chocolate and butter are melted, about 5 minutes. Whisk in powdered sugar.

Meanwhile, bring wine just to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove chocolate mixture from heat and whisk in wine; let cool until slightly thickened and a rubber spatula leaves a trail in mixture when stirring, 8–10 minutes.
Set cake on a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour glaze over cake and spread it across the top and over the edges with an offset spatula. Let cake stand at room temperature until glaze is set, 2–3 hours.


red wine glaze adapted slightly from Bon Appetit
chocolate cake from Add a Pinch