Zucchini “Pasta” with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Pasta-like ribbons of garden-fresh zucchini, a tangy raw tomato sauce and thin shavings of Parmigiano cheese give this familiar ingredient combination new life. Try to find Parmigiano-Reggiano straight from Italy, which will lend an especially nutty taste to this dish.
- 4 zucchini, about 2 lb. total
- 1 Tbs. sea salt, plus more, to taste
- 4 large ripe tomatoes, about 2 lb. total, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Leaves from 1/2 bunch fresh basil, cut into thin ribbons
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- Generous pinch of freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
- 1 small chunk Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Using a mandoline, a sharp knife or a very sharp vegetable peeler, cut each zucchini lengthwise into slices about 1/8 inch thick. Carefully place the slices in a large bowl, sprinkle with the 1 Tbs. salt and toss gently to coat. Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with paper towels. Transfer the salted zucchini slices to the prepared sheets, arranging them in a single layer, and let stand for 20 minutes. Turn the zucchini slices over and let stand for 10 minutes more, then gently rinse under cold running water. Using a clean kitchen towel, pat the slices dry, then arrange them in a loose mound on a serving platter.
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes with their juices, garlic and basil and toss gently to mix. Stir 2 Tbs. of the olive oil and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper into the tomato mixture.
Drizzle the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil over the zucchini and top with a few grinds of pepper. Spoon the tomato mixture evenly over the zucchini.
Using a vegetable peeler, cut several shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top of the dish. Serve immediately. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Vegetables, by Jodi Liano (Oxmoor House, 2008).