Monday, August 1, 2011

Tomato, Walnut and Basil Sauce on Raw Zucchini Pasta

The garden is booming! My parent's garden that is. My little planters on my patio have yielded 0 fruit, and it will stay that way unfortunately. There was a lonely little pepper growing a few days ago, but it looks like the neighbourhood animals beat me to it. Oh well, it was worth a try. At least I have access to my parent's and grandparent's garden this time of year. Every weekend I have been coming home with lettuce, kale, swiss chard, and radishes. Yesterday, I came home with the first of the tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber, green pepper and chili pepper.

I wanted to make a dish that was light, raw, and would really highlight the freshness of the veggies. I have made raw zucchini pasta in the past, but wasn't a huge fan. Since I don't have a mandoline, the zucchini was irregular shaped and not as thin as it should have been. I also didn't have the right kind of sauce for it. With the though of gazpacho in mind I remembered this recipe, which is where I originally saw 'raw pasta'.  I made a few changes and it turned out wonderful. Extremely flavourful and perfect for these hot summer days we have been having.

Tomato, Walnut and Basil Sauce on Raw Zucchini Pasta adapted from Mis Pensamientos

1/2 cup walnuts
1 handful of basil
1/2 tsp parsley
1/4 large onion
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes
2 zucchini

1. Add walnuts to food processor and pulse until finely chopped.
2. Add basil, parsley, onion, lemon, olive oil and garlic. Process until a pesto forms, scraping down the sides as neccesary.
3. Add tomatoes and pulse until combined (I only pulsed 3 times). Drain any excess liquid.
4. Use a mandoline to thinly peel the zucchini, or use a peeler to make the 'zucchini pasta'. Top with the pesto sauce.

After taking a look at this photo I realized the sauce doesn't look too appetizing, but I can assure you it tastes wonderful. I almost added some chili peppers but I am glad I didn't because it already has quite the bite from the basil and garlic. I also would have topped this with some goat cheese if I had some on hand. that bowl is 1 small zucchini and about 1/3 of the sauce. I think the leftover sauce would be wonderful in a cold pasta or quinoa salad.

**Update: Zucchini pasta is not for everyone. I really don't find raw zucchini all that appetizing, I much prefer it cooked. Maybe I would like it better if I had a spiralizer? As I was eating this for lunch I really wished I had real pasta, or cooked zucchini at least. Maybe some cheese would have made it better. Anyway, definitely give zucchini pasta a try at least once, but if it isn't your thing, I don't blame you, but don't forget about the tomato, walnut and basil goes nicely with lots of other things.

I hope everyone had a great long weekend. Mine was low key and fairly relaxing. I spent some time with my family and made more preparations for moving into my parent's house, and for my trip to Italy. It is becoming more of a reality that I will be moving out of my current house and leaving my awesome housemates :(

I will leave you with a picture I took today of Tew's Falls in Hamilton.

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