feasting at home: Zucchini Linguine

February 24, 2013

Zucchini Linguine





This may look like pasta, but it's not. It's zucchini cut into fine strips, mimicking linguine, and sauteed with olive oil and garlic, finished with basil ribbons, toasted pine nuts and shaved pecorino-romano cheese.  Serve this simple recipe with a piece of seared fish or tofu, and you have a perfect meal, flavorful and totally gluten free.  It could be made vegan, but truthfully the salty, pungent pecorino cheese adds that little extra something, that really makes the dish work.  




I realize this isn't exactly seasonal, but we had extra zucchini from a catering event that desperately needed to be eaten, and somehow this recipe was born. 


Start by either very thinly slicing the zucchini ( or better yet...use a mandolin). A tip: if  possible, select zucchini that are very strait with an even diameter from end to end. This will make this whole cutting  process easier.



Stack several layers together and finely slice again...creating "linguine" shaped strips.




On low heat, toast a couple tablespoons of pine nuts until they become fragrant and golden.





Make basil ribbons by stacking 8-10 leaves, rolling them up and slicing into thin strips.




Shave or grate  a little pecorino-romano cheese. If you would like to have shaved cheese, use a vegetable peeler, it works great.




In a non stick pan or cast iron skillet, warm the oil and saute garlic on medium heat for about one minute. Add the zucchini. Add salt and pepper and stir occasionally until liquid starts to release and linguine becomes translucent and tender. When zucchini is just about done, stir in half of the cheese, half of the pine nuts and half of the basil. Plate and finish with the remaining cheese, pine nuts and basil. 





Top this with a piece of seared fish, chicken or tofu.





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Zucchini Linguine
A gluten free pasta dish using zucchini
Ingredients
  • 4 zucchini (about 2 lbs)
  • 4 large cloves garlic-rough chopped 
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt-  or to taste 
  • cracked pepper- to taste
  • 1/4 C grated pecorino-romano cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons pine nuts-toasted
  • 2 T Olive oil
  • 10 leaves Fresh Basil
Instructions:
Cut zucchini into thin slices (or use a mandolin), and stacking them, cut again to make thin linguine strips. Rough chop garlic. make basil ribbons ( see above), grate or shave pecorino, and toast pine nuts until fragrant and golden. In a nonstick or cast iron skillet, coat with olive oil. On medium heat saute garlic for one minute until fragrant. Add zucchini and 1/4 tsp kosher salt ( or a generous pinch) . Add pepper. Stir occasionally until zucchini renders it liquid and becomes tender, about 8-10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, otherwise it will fall part. Timing really depends on the thickness of the strips, so cooking time will vary. Once zucchini is tender, add half the cheese, half the pine nuts and half the basil ribbons. Saute for one more minute until cheese melts and plate. garnish with remaining cheese, pine nuts and basil. Serve with a seared piece of fish, chicken or tofu.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2-4