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Today: Zucchini steps in for pasta, and the results are delicious.
You can enjoy zucchini “noodles” -- zucchini that’s been cut into long, thin strands or strips that resemble pasta -- in a host of different ways, but this recipe is my favorite. It’s simple, it's fast, and it’s an amazing reminder of how authentic and satisfying raw food recipes can taste. The marinara sauce is prepared by blending up tomatoes (both fresh and sun-dried) with olive oil and spices, but it has a richness and a depth that you’d never expect from a sauce that hasn’t spent so much as a minute on the stove.
To prepare the noodles, you can use a spiralizer (a kitchen tool designed specifically for slicing vegetables into “pasta” shapes), a box grater (which will give you short “noodles” -- think macaroni), or a vegetable peeler (which you can run along the zucchini in long motions to achieve the characteristic noodle shape). Once you get the hang of the technique, it’s incredibly easy.
To add a little more heft to this dish, which is fairly light on its own, try adding some cooked lentils or cannellini beans.
3 cups vine-ripened or heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)
Black pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped, plus a few extra tablespoons for garnish
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 small zucchini, spiralized, peeled, or grated into noodles (see instructions)
Photos by Mark Weinberg
Gena's new book Choosing Raw: Making Raw Foods Part of the Way You Eat is a thorough, relatable guide to incorporating raw and vegan foods into any diet. It's full of no-fuss recipes for every meal, which range from fully raw to mostly cooked, with plenty of snacks and desserts to keep everyone happy.