Try this light and meatless gluten-free dish before the zucchini season hits big-time. If you like it, you'll have another way to make all those green vegetable boats disappear.
We added some of the zucchini "pasta" cooking water to this lightly cooked sauce to encourage its saucier tendencies; feel free to keep it at its chunkier consistency.
Serve with a bean salad, a warm potato knish or chewy garlic bread with melted cheese on top.
- For the sauce
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sherry or red wine
- 1 medium to large zucchini, trimmed and cut into small dice
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice, plus their juices (about 2 cups total)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons basil chiffonade (leaves rolled and cut into very thin ribbons)
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained and coarsely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- For the zucchini pasta
- 4 medium to large zucchini, ends trimmed
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese or freshly grated parmesan cheese
For the sauce: Heat the sherry or red wine in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, parsley, basil and capers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until heated through and beginning to cook down into a sauce. Season generously with pepper to taste. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
For the zucchini pasta: While a large pot of lightly salted water comes to a boil over high heat, cut each zucchini lengthwise into halves. Place the halves cut side down on a cutting board and slice them lengthwise, slowly, into very thin strips (or use a mandoline or vegetable peeler). Add the zucchini to the boiling water and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, being careful not to overcook (the peel of the zucchini strips should be bright green, the flesh almost translucent). Drain, reserving 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid for the sauce. Divide the zucchini among individual plates.
To serve, combine the reserved cooking liquid with the sauce, if desired, stirring to mix well. Ladle the sauce onto the zucchini portions, tossing gently to combine. Top each with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Serve immediately.
Adapted from "Enemy of the Steak: Vegetarian Recipes to Win Friends and Influence Meat-Eaters," by Nikki and David Goldbeck (Taunton, 2007).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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