Blogger Alissandra Maffucci Brings Spiralizing to the Masses – Recipe Included!

Jersey City blogger Alissandra Maffucci recently quit her day job to pursue her passion: spiralizing. If you’re neither a raw foodist nor a vegan you’ve probably never heard of spiralizing. However, Maffucci explains on the “About” page of her blog “Inspiralized” that anyone who’s been to an Asian restaurant has probably seen spiralized vegetables in the form of elegant spiral-shaped carrot and daikon garnishes. Simply put, spiralizing is the art of using a tool called a spiralizer to make noodles out of vegetables like zucchini.

Formerly, Maffucci had a personal blog called “Vegetables and Vampires,” but she lacked focused content until she started posting recipes for zucchini pasta dishes. Her mother had introduced her to the concept. Soon, families, friends, and even strangers began to respond to these blog posts in a new way.

“Lots of ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ and ‘hows?’,” said Maffucci. “The final motivation and inspiration came from my boyfriend, when I made him a dish for dinner. He couldn’t believe how much spiralized pasta tasted like the real deal, and he came up with the idea to start a blog dedicated solely to the spiralizer, since there was nothing like it on the Internet.”

As a former vegan, Maffucci agreed that developing recipes for her blog would be a great idea because it’s natural for her to sneak extra vegetables into every meal. Currently working about 12 hours per day on her blog, Maffucci hopes to bring spiralizing to the masses.

“Right now, it’s tucked away in the vegan and raw vegan world. Spiralized pasta is for not only for everyone who wants to eat more veggies, be healthier, and lose weight. Spiralized pasta is for anyone who wants to spice things up the kitchen and eat a bit differently, but doesn’t have the time,” said Maffucci. “Spiralized pasta is also perfect for busy moms, paleo diets, gluten free allergies, and diabetics.”

Maffucci is focusing on building her blog’s content so that when someone buys a spiralizer, which is available for sale on Amazon.com through a link on her blog, that person can find a complete go-to source.

“I want my website to be friendly for all types of eaters and don’t want to overwhelm or intimidate readers with my recipes. I’m not classically trained, so I hope that readers find my recipes easy to make and relatable,” she said.

For people who can’t afford a spiralizer, who don’t have space, or are waiting for the spiralizer to be shipped, Maffucci offers a tutorial on how to create “spiralized” pasta without a spiralizer.

“However, the spiralizer is extremely affordable (it sells on Amazon for around $35.00) and is made of durable plastic. I have had my first spiralizer for about six months, and it hasn’t failed me yet – it’s a great investment,” said Maffucci. “As for space in their kitchen, there are different types of spiralizers out there that perform a similar ‘spiralizing’ functionality that are more compact, but I truly recommend the spiralizer advertised on my website, especially if you want to follow along to my recipes.”

Maffucci doesn’t eat pasta at home, but at restaurants she likes to try pasta dishes as inspiration for her blog.

“I like to taste the flavors and see what is popular in restaurants, so that I can create Inspiralized recipes that appeal to everyone. When I was vacationing in Greece at the end of July, I tried a lobster risotto and a seafood spaghetti that was to-die-for, and I can’t wait to recreate it for my readers!” Said Maffucci.

In Paulus Hook, where she lives, Maffucci enjoys dining at neighborhood spots like Light Horse Tavern, Bistro La Source, and Satis.

“I’ve never been disappointed at City Diner and often times find myself there for tuna melts and healthy wraps. If I hop on my bike, I love the kale Caesar salad at Razza, the guacamole and plantain chips at Hard Grove Cafe, and the tuna burger at Park & Sixth. For brunch and breakfast, my favorite brunch spots are The Hamilton Inn (fantastic Greek Salad!) and Marco & Pepe – ridiculously good Spanish omelet. If it’s for a quick bite, I’ll wait in line at Wonder Bagels,” said Maffucci.

In addition to updating the blog, Maffucci is writing an eBook and branding her own spiralizer product. Overall, her goal is for her blog to become a household name.

Maffucci developed a recipe exclusively for The Jersey City Independent using corn, tomatoes, garlic, and onions purchased at the Paulus Hook farmers market:

Corn Sauce Zucchini Pasta with Andouille Sausage and Tomatoes

You can find more information about the health benefits of zucchini pasta, along with a step-by-step tutorial on how to spiralize, all on Inspiralized.com.

Ingredients

For the corn sauce

1/4 cup plain nonfat 0% Greek Yogurt
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp parsley, chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1 ear of corn

For the rest

1.5 zucchinis, spiralized into thin noodles*
1 Andouille sausage link, caseings removed and sliced in 1/2 inch pieces
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tsp garlic, minced
olive oil cooking spray
1 pinch of garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 tbsp olive oil
Extra chopped parsley for garnish

*See Inspiralized.com for instructions on how to spiralize.

Directions

Scrape the kernels off the corn cob and place in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes or until corn is done and softened. Pour out into a colander to drain and then pour into a food processor, along with all of the other ingredients for the sauce. Pulse until creamy. Set aside.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once oil heats, add in the Andouille sausage and cook for about 5 minutes. After 2 minutes, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes. Once finished, scrape out garlic and sausage onto a plate and set aside.

While the sausage is cooking, place a small saucepan over medium heat, coat with cooking spray, and place in tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook for about 4 minutes or until tomatoes are cooked. Set aside.

Add the zucchini noodles into the same skillet and cook for about 2 minutes, or until zucchini begins to soften and heats through. Add in the corn sauce and cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine.

Place the zucchini pasta onto a dish and top with sausage and tomatoes. Garnish with extra chopped parsley. Enjoy!

© Harmony Media, NJ. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without written permission.

Photo courtesy Alissandra Maffucci

Laryssa Wirstiuk

is a writer who teaches creative writing at Rutgers University. Born and raised in the suburbs of northern New Jersey, Laryssa moved to Jersey City because she was curious about the city where her mother was raised. Check her blog Craft Your Drafts.