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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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Zucchini Pasta with Tomato Mushroom Sauce

Today was another CSA sample day, so I needed to make a big batch of something fresh and seasonal, to prepare for the CSA members to taste when they picked up this week’s bins.  The star ingredient of the produce bins were the monstrous zucchini we have growing, which inspired the following recipe…

Zucchini Pasta with Tomato Mushroom Sauce

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large zucchini
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small package mushrooms
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

To Prepare:  This recipe is so simple, yet packs in so much flavor.  We’ll start by making the sauce.  Begin by chopping your onions – I used a mixture of red and white, but you can choose whatever you prefer.

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Sauté the onions over medium heat in a tiny bit of olive olive.  You want to cook these for at least ten minutes, until they are browning and soft, so make sure to keep the heat on medium to avoid burning.

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While the onions are cooking, chop your garlic and then add to the pain after about ten minutes.

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Give your mushrooms a rough chop so that they are easily bite sized.

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Once your onions and garlic have cooked long enough to be nice and soft, add your mushrooms on top and stir them to combine.

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While the mushrooms cook, you can chop your tomatoes.  You might be sensing a pattern here – add, chop, add chop…  I used a mixture of slicing, roma, and heirloom tomatoes to give a variety of flavor and color.  You can pick the tomato that works best for you!

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The mushrooms will give off a good amount of moisture when cooking, so they should help loosen some of the browning buildup from the onions on the bottom of the pan.  When the mushrooms are really wilted and most of the excess liquid is gone, it’s time to add the tomatoes. 

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The tomatoes are going to give off a LOT of liquid – stir all of the ingredients well to combine, and let it simmer over medium heat.  They key ingredient in this sauce is PATIENCE.  Let.it.cook. 

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You should have a nice rolling simmer going, so that all of that excess liquid cooks away, and you are left with amazing concentrated flavors.  Cook for ~30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add salt and pepper to taste – be generous with the salt. 

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The final product should have very little runny liquid and should almost stew-like.  Adjust your final seasoning.  Deeelicious!

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While the sauce is simmering away, you can prepare your zucchini ribbon pasta!  Check out these monster zucchinis we have on the farm.  (And check out the bags under my eyes – someone needs a NAP!)

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Using a vegetable peeler, remove the outer skin from the zucchini and throw it away.  Then use the same veggie peeler to peel ribbons of the zucchini flesh itself, like so…

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Run the peeler down the zucchini lengthwise to create long thin strips.  Turn the zucchini in a circle for ea
ch new peel, so that you are evenly peeling on all sides. 

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You may need to do these slowly at first so that they don’t break, but one you get the hang of it it goes very quickly.

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Stop peeling once you start exposing the seeds.  The seeds mess up the ribbons, so you have to discard the rest of the zucchini once you hit the seeds. 

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You don’t need to waste the rest of the zucchini though.  I chopped mine up and sauteed it with olive oil, salt, and pepper until soft – then topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.  Lunch! 

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Back to the ribbons – peel both of your zucchinis until they are down to the seeds.

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Now there are two options here.  The first option is to toss the pasta in a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, top it with sauce and eat it raw.  Raw pasta is HUGE in the raw food world.  But if you don’t like your pasta quite so crunchy, you can also do a quick and light sauté.  I went for option two – olive oil, salt, and pepper, just quickly sauteed in a pan over medium high heat.  Only cook the “noodles” for 2-3 minutes, enough to soften and heat them through. 

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Just a few minutes on the heat and you will have soft delicious “noodles” that you won’t believe aren’t really pasta. 

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Next up, top them with some of your delicious long-cooked sauce…

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And then top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese for that real pasta-like finish…

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This is such a perfect light and tasty meal for summer.  It feels like all of the indulgence of pasta, without any of the excess calories.  Feel free to pile your bowl high!

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Enjoy!  :)

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77 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Ann     at 9:08 am

This sounds so delicious! I would never have thought to make zucchini pasta! Thanks for posting!!

[Reply]

Katie KS     at 9:09 am

I’m totally going to try this with a combination of veggies from our garden and the ones we get delivered from Farm Fresh Delivery! I just need to be patient for the next zucchini to be ready …

[Reply]

Therese     at 9:09 am

Erm…I’m making this tonight! Holy yum! When’s your cookbook coming out?!?! :P

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

:)

[Reply]

Katie (Sweet Tater)     at 9:13 am

that looks awesome. i’ve been wanting to try zucchini pasta…

[Reply]

Alexis @ Mission: Ambition     at 9:16 am

This looks AMAZING! Can’t wait to make it :)

You should defeinitely make a cookbook…I’d buy it!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I am holding you to that if/when the cookbook comes out! :)

[Reply]

Chase @ The Chase Project     at 9:17 am

Delicious! Thanks for the step-by-step! I might have to try that sauce; it looks awesome!

[Reply]

Brittney     at 9:31 am

So funny you made this yesterday! We were JUST talking about zucchini pasta at the blogger dinner last night! I need to try this ASAP!

[Reply]

Dan     at 9:43 am

That’s a great looking raw pasta. I use that same technique for making lasagna with just veggies. Yummoooo…

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Can I just tell you how much I love that Dan Helfgott reads my blog? Miss you! :)

[Reply]

Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen)     at 9:55 am

Beautiful! I need this today! I have been eating zucchini noodles all week. They are perfect for lightening up a meal! The sauce is right up my alley too! I don’t know if you have ever done this, but I bake our pasta sauce. It really adds a richness to the sauce. Yours looks delicious! Hope you got that nap in. Have a great day Emily!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thank you!

[Reply]

Kimberley     at 9:59 am

Are you sure you have to move to DC? Can’t you stay in Charlotte and open a vegetarian restaurant where you make all your delicious recipes like this one? Pretty please?! :)

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Haha I would, but sadly I dont think Charlotte has the market for it. There are NO veggie places here that seem to be able to stay open :/ Come to DC and I will cook for you!

[Reply]

KaraHadley     at 9:59 am

Genius! I have been trying to figure out how to make zucchini pasta without a spiralizer. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this first.
That looks so absolutely delicious.

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Everyone has a peeler, right? :)

[Reply]

Jayna     at 10:08 am

I’ve never thought of doing zucchini pasta! I LOVE it, I’m going to have to try it. The sauce looks amazing and I might have to try that method sans mushrooms (which try as I might I just can’t like).

The idea for a Front Burner cookbook is an awesome one! Sign me up for the pre order!

[Reply]

Chicago Cuisine Critique     at 10:21 am

Yum. Great idea!

[Reply]

Erika     at 10:24 am

Wow. Zucchini ribbons = great idea. Gonna have to try that one. If you’ve got any cucumber ideas I’d love to hear them – I’ve got oodles of cucumbers in my garden!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Cucumbers + tomatoes + basalmic vinegar + olive oil + fresh basil = heaven. :)

[Reply]

Shelly @ EpicOrganic.net     at 10:31 am

This looks WONDERFUL!! Sharing on FB *right now* and may need to run to the grocery store for some zuc’s today! Thanks for sharing :)

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thank YOU for sharing! :)

[Reply]

Corey - The Runner's Cookie     at 10:42 am

Looks fantastic and easy enough for me to tackle – can’t wait to try this!

[Reply]

Tina     at 10:46 am

Looks so delish and fresh! Does the farm have a compost pile?? Seems like it would be perfect for getting rid of peelings and such. Plus so “earth friendly”.

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

We do have a compost pile! I scrape all my scaps into a compost bin in the kitchen.

[Reply]

Whitney     at 10:47 am

You should definitely do a cookbook!! Your meals are so creative and healthy at the same time! :)

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Aww thank you! Hopefully some day. :)

[Reply]

Miranda @ MirandasJeans     at 10:47 am

Oh that looks so good. What an awesome alternative to spaghetti squash!

[Reply]

wishful nals     at 11:20 am

YUM! i would never think of making a dish like this. but once again, it looks delicious :) i may have to try it! xo

[Reply]

Kristin     at 11:55 am

Awesome! I have been wanting to try zucchini pasta, but I thought you had to have a mandolin. I’m excited to try this with a veggie peeler!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I considered doing it on the mandolin, but thought it would be more user-friendly to just use a peeler. I figured most people have one!

[Reply]

Maria     at 12:02 pm

How many zucchinis did you use? (so i know how many to buy to feed at least 4 hungry people)

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

For 4 hungry people, I would probably use 3-4 big zucchinis. Hope you like it!

[Reply]

Neen @ Broad Bean to Runner Bean     at 12:36 pm

Hey Emily
i made your Quinoa Stuffed Zuccini earlier this week, it was deeeelish, it even worked heated up the following two days for lunch! i have a tonne of courgettes (zuccini’s) from my dads garden just now, so this zuccini pasta is on the menu for tonyt!! thanks for the fab recipes, i linked you in my post about the stuffed zuccini – http://broadbeantorunnerbean.blogspot.com/2010/08/quinoa-stuffed-courgette.html

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Awesome – I’m so glad you liked them!

[Reply]

haphazardinspiration Reply:

I made the Quinoa Stuffed Zuccini recipe this week too. YUM! Thank you for the great ideas.

[Reply]

maleni     at 12:40 pm

LOVE your recipies!!! and your blog!! You have a mexican fan!!!!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

that is AWESOME! I love Mexico – been there twice and hope to go back soon. :)

[Reply]

maleni Reply:

I’m in Tijuana – it’s just 15min. from San Diego, l love that I can plan trips to Trader Joes, and other natural food stores. Your blog gives me great ideas, and sometimes i give them the mexican flare, jaja, (cilantro, lime, etc)

[Reply]

Alice     at 1:28 pm

I think I know what I’ll be making after the farmer’s market on Sunday! Your sauce looks like something my Peace Corps Uzbekistan host mom would make with summer veggies from the garden. While it was still simmering she would crack a whole egg or two into it and let the eggs poach in the sauce and serve up with bread.

[Reply]

Jenn @ So Very Fit     at 2:05 pm

Oh my goodness, this looks delicious, what a great idea! I am definitely going to have to try this combo out in the near future. Thanks for posting! :)

[Reply]

Cate     at 2:37 pm

Looks beautiful and delicious, as usual. I’m definitely on board to buy the cookbook when you publish one.

[Reply]

Rachel     at 4:37 pm

Do you have a recommendation on good knives? I’m tired of crappy knives!

[Reply]

Erin     at 5:01 pm

Oh yeah this looks soooo good, can’t wait to try this!!! THANKS for sharing :))

[Reply]

Anna     at 6:20 pm

I made this tonight – the sauce is to die for! So fresh, rich, yet light at the same time. Perfect dinner!

[Reply]

Lisa (bakebikeblog)     at 6:48 pm

What a wonderful idea! I must give this a try!!!

[Reply]

Life's Tasty Adventures » Blog Archive » Creating An Action Plan     at 7:54 pm

[...] inspired by one of my favourite chefs! Emily from The Front Burner! She posted this morning about zucchini pasta with tomato mushroom sauce and I knew I just HAD to try it! The only difference in the recipe is that I added basil to the [...]

Lisa     at 8:39 pm

This looks delicious, I can’t wait to try it!

[Reply]

Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul     at 8:57 pm

Looks phenomenal! Thanks for being so detailed with your steps – it really helps some of us. And by some of us I mean me ;-)

[Reply]

Pure2raw Twins     at 9:07 pm

Love zucchini pasta!! Yours looks amazing…love all the colors and texures.

[Reply]

Lisa     at 9:28 pm

Yummm… that looks delish! I am definitely going to make this recipe soon. Thank you for sharing!

[Reply]

jenna     at 9:00 am

oh wow this looks amazing!! i can’t wait to try it! :) so simple and delicious!

[Reply]

Robyn @ Wannabe Writer Runner     at 2:57 pm

Why do your recipes always look so good.I’ve made spaghetti squash but never thought to try this. Thanks!

[Reply]

Anne     at 4:35 pm

YUM – this is on the menu for tonight. Thank you!!

[Reply]

stacey     at 11:53 am

I am making this recipe right now. I can’t wait until it is ready! Thanks for another great veggie dish:)

[Reply]

Anne @ the doctor takes a wife     at 4:05 pm

I cannot wait to try this!! Zucchini Pasta is such a GREAT idea :)

[Reply]

Jane     at 12:07 pm

I’m always looking for carb substitutes. I made this over the weekend and it was AMAZING!!! Thank you so much for sharing! I love your blog and read it everyday!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Wow – thanks! I’m so glad you liked it :)

[Reply]

Melissa     at 11:37 am

This is seriously the most delicious “pasta” I have ever had. Mind blowing. I know this comment is delayed but I’m still thinking about that pasta so there you go. :)

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Comments are NEVER too late! Glad you liked it :)

[Reply]

Katie     at 8:14 pm

I’m late to comment too, but I just made this dish tonight and it was fabulous! And it was a big hit with the family who normally find healthy dishes a little lacking. It was a perfect summer dish and I will definitely be adding it to my recipes.

[Reply]

I Steal Things « Healthyteacher's Blog     at 10:28 pm

[...] here I am 20 years later, stealing things. Sorry, Emily. I steal a lot of recipe ideas from your blog. I’m big on portion control and with tons of [...]

Let’s Be Honest « Lauren Loves Good Food     at 10:21 am

[...] Emily’s Zucchini Pasta with Tomato Mushroom Sauce [...]

Lisa     at 11:58 am

I can’t get enough of this recipe. I had a bunch of long veggies from my CSA last week so I made it with zucchini, eggplant and summer squash and it was delicious! Thanks for sharing, Emily!

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Oh GOOD! I’m so glad. It’s one of my favorites too. :)

[Reply]

Stacey     at 11:16 am

WOW! Sounds like I need to try this out!

[Reply]

Quinoa Mish Mash « simply fit. simply clean.     at 11:07 pm

[...] my veggie stew was simmering away, I made some zucchini pasta (Emily @ The Front Burner has a great post outlining the process). For those of you who are [...]

Liz     at 1:15 am

This recipe is fantastic! Thanks for sharing. My husband was skeptical of the zucchini ribbons at first, but we both loved them and the sauce.

[Reply]

Allison @ Happy Tales     at 12:54 am

This is genius. I wish it weren’t in the middle of the night. I want to make this, like, now!

[Reply]

Nikki     at 8:32 pm

I just found your blog over the weekend, and LOVE it! You seem great! And I looove this recipe. Just made it tonight, and my non-vegetarian boyfriend loved it! Thanks for keeping up such great posts and recipes. Looking forward to more to come!

[Reply]

Recipe Roll: December 11-17 | ThoroughlyCurly     at 6:01 pm

[...] Daily Garnish Zucchini Pasta with Tomato Mushroom Sauce [...]

Karin     at 4:38 pm

I just tried this recently and have eaten it at least 4 times since… it’s sooo delicious! I don’t love zucchini, but it’s so much more mild in flavor like this that I can’t get enough :-)

[Reply]

Aldo     at 5:54 pm

This was such a tasty dish. I started out thinking I would dislike the zucchini noodle, but it truly added a great deal to the presentation and really brought the plate together. What a great meal!! Thank you for sharing :) Keep the great recipes coming!

[Reply]

Abigail     at 8:57 am

How many does this serve?
I would like to know asap so I can make it for dinner(I have 10 people in my house.
Thanks,
~Abi

[Reply]

Emily Malone Reply:

Probably 4 servings from this recipe.

[Reply]

Brooke     at 9:47 am

Just made this… AMAZING!!!!! Thankyou so much!

[Reply]

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