Zucchini Marinara: A Raw "Pasta" for Summer

July 10, 2014

Every other Thursday, Gena Hamshaw of the blog Choosing Raw shares satisfying, flavorful recipes that also happen to be vegan.

Today: Zucchini steps in for pasta, and the results are delicious. 

Zucchini Pasta Marinara

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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. 

More: Perfect your zucchini noodle technique, with whatever tools you have.

To add a little more heft to this dish, which is fairly light on its own, try adding some cooked lentils or cannellini beans.

Zucchini Pasta Marinara

Zucchini Pasta Marinara 

Serves 4

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)

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here. 

Photos by Mark Weinberg

Choosing RawGena'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. 



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The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

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Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.

1 Comment

McClees July 13, 2014
She's truly brilliant- always been one of my favorite bloggers and recipe artists:) Love this, thanks for sharing her with all of us Food 52:)