Zucchini Pasta & the inbetweeness of it all

This is the first time in my life that I won’t be kicking and screaming for summer to stay just a bit longer. Not that I want it to go, mind you, I’m just happy to see the seasons do their thang, the earth to change notches such a tiny bit. The days are already significantly shorter, but when you’re from Southern California you’re generally immune to massive temperature changes anyway.

Besides, this past month I’ve been living in Thanksgiving because of my work, and Christmas is next week. I’m mentally already there.

While my brain may be on all things holiday, my tastebuds will most likely be the last thing to get on the bandwagon. A trip to the market explains why: there are still beautiful tomatoes and other summer fruit waiting to be scooped up and enjoyed one last time before we move on to slower, richer things. Which reminds me of this recipe, something I’ve made 5 or 6 times since it hit the newstands this past July. I’ve been meaning to share it with you but keep forgetting. Now I better do it as one last goodbye to summer, don’t you think?

The flavors in this raw dish, featured in the July/August issue of Whole Living Magazine, is exactly what I crave when I want flavor and lightness. Seriously, it’s one of the best things I’ve enjoyed lately, packed with flavor without being heavy and without turning on the oven or stove. It’s almost hard to believe. As I twirl my fork around this dish one last time and say goodbye to summer, I hope you had a great one and I can’t wait to see what Autumn has in store for all of us.

Zucchini “Pasta” from Whole Living, July/August 2011

Every single ingredient in this dish is raw. It’s also vegan but I have been known to sprinkle the tiniest amount of Pecorino on top before serving as well as 3 or 4 drops of lemon juice. Not a lot, just a teeeensy bit for brightness.

8 ounces of sliced cherry tomatoes
1 clove of garlic, thinly slices (the thinner the better, trust me!)
¼ cup chopped raw walnuts
2 tablespoons torn fresh basil, plus leaves for garnish
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus a bit more for drizzling
sea salt (I like a light chunky salt crystal for texture)
1 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise, slices cut into ¼-inch long strips

In a bowl, combine the sliced tomatoes, the garlic, walnuts basil and olive oil, Season with salt. Let stand 20 minutes. Toss with the zucchini ribbons and garnish with basil. This is where I add a tiny bit of cheese and a sprinkle of lemon juice but it’s totally not necessary.


To Richard: While I never had the chance to meet you, the laughter and light you brought to those around you had an impact, enough to radiate and shine on from wherever you are. I hope your journey was peaceful. I can tell you’re already missed.


  1. says

    The recipe looks so delicious and fresh! We had a cold snap in Colorado this week, but I think summer is going to make one last guest appearance this weekend with some warmer temps. I better make this while I still can! :)

  2. says

    YES! I’ve made zucchini pasta several times as it is the perfect gluten-free alternative to pasta — it is nothing short of awesome. I haven’t done it like this but you can count on the fact that I will this weekend. Thank you.

  3. says

    I love zucchini pasta and your bowl is just so light and delicate and beautiful!

    And you’re already living Thanksgiving and Xmas…I didn’t think about how that would work for you, but yes, you’re right! I hope Santa is good to you. Next week :)

  4. says

    Matt does your photography always have to be so gorgeous?:)

    I’ve never tried zucchini pasta either but I will give this a spin tomorrow. Loving that beautiful fork. Cheers and Happy New Year :)

  5. says

    This dish looks absolutely amazing. I’m not sure what camera you use but the quality of the picture itself just makes me feel like that plate is sitting right before me begging to be eaten! As a new whole food, pseudo vegan who occasionally eats meat, this is going on the rotation! Thank you so much!

  6. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! It looks amazing! When we were raw we used to make zucchini pasta with a fresh basil pesto. If you like this you should give it a try.

  7. says

    Wow! I had to check the recipe a few times to make sure I wasn’t missing pasta in the ingredients list. This is just fabulous and I can’t wait to get home to make this! I have a few zukes waiting in the vegetable drawer for me and this is PERFECT, especially since I’m always looking for great vegetable dishes to fill me up. Thanks!

  8. blue123 says

    hmmmmmmm i hop its very better i like this post i read the post its very great your good artical i likre very much
    keep it up……..!!!!

  9. says

    Ah Ha, I’ll have to give this a try. The wife does every fad diet going and gluten free is the word(s) of the moment. I’d better do it quick though or we will be on to something different by next month!

  10. says

    Thanks, Matt, this raw recipe is so healthy and refreshing. My daughter, Morena, will be more than happy adding it to her repertoire, especially because she lives in Lima, Peru, and they are already in Spring. Summer is on its way, so she will have more opportunities to enjoy this bounty of flavors.

  11. says

    This is my kind of pasta….the only problem is I can never get the strips of zuke to look quite so perfect & pretty. I too would add a little bit of parm/romano.

  12. says

    This looks great! I have some baby/small tender zucchini and squash that I may try this with… Love the lighter twist on pasta!

  13. says

    Love this! I’ve heard of people using zucchini in lasagna for noodles (I’ve done it with eggplant) but can’t wait to try it like a pasta. It will be a great sub for spaghetti squash with my meat sauce. Thanks for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *