Sunday, August 1, 2010

raw zucchini linguini with fresh tomato sauce

Hey everyone! Sorry for the big break in posts.. I was on vacation again. Poor me, I know. But before I write about what I ate on my trip - I have to play a little catch up. Here was a meal a friend and I made before I left. I was trying to use up the produce I still had, and in this case - it was a zucchini somewhere between the size of my calf and my thigh. I remember making this recipe once last summer, pre-blog-life.. so I knew I had to make it again to share with you.

The recipe is from one of Williams-Sonoma cookbooks (but I left out the cheese...)
The process on this one is slightly tedious.. but worth it! And if you make extra, it keeps in the fridge :) I ate raw zucchini linguini with 4 different toppings over the four days it took me to finish it all. Note: The process goes faster with a friend you need to catch up with.. so.. invite one? When I tasted the finished product, I was immediately brought back to Italy. I lived there for four months, and it was before I knew about all my allergies (thank God).. But since I haven't been able to have dairy, wheat, or even wine, it's been hard to recreate the Italy taste. Garlic, basil, olive oil, and a good tomato will do the trick.


zucchini, 2 lbs
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
ripe tomatoes, 2 lbs total weight, diced (there's a photo coming up of what a tomato should look like on the inside)
garlic, 2 cloves (because I was making a huge amount.. I probably added more than what the recipe suggested)
fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons (I just used a handful from my herb garden.. the recipe says "leaves from 1/2 a bunch" What? Oh yeah.. basil comes from the grocery store.. I forgot.)
olive oil, 3 tbsp (I hate saying extra virgin.. you know what I mean)

parmesan cheese, small chunk (get permission from your body first, mine says "no.")
Using a vegetable peeler, cut zucchini lengthwise into slices about 1/8th inch thick. Carefully place slices in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt, and toss gently to coat. Line your workspace with cloth towels and transfer the salted zucchini slices, arranging them in a single layer, and let them stand for 20 minutes.

Turn the slices over and let stand for another 10 minutes. Then gently rinse under cold running water. Using clean towels pat the slices dry, then arrange them in a loose mound on a serving platter. The zucchini should have gone through a transformation - from slimy to crisp.

In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with their juices, garlic, and basil, and toss gently to mix. Stir in 2 tbsp olive oil, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil over the zucchini and top with a few grinds of pepper. Spoon the tomato mixture evenly over the zucchini, and serve right away.

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