Somewhere through the pouring rain, I’m starting to see the light at the end of tunnel, feeling more comfortable preparing raw/living meals that aren’t just salads, and I am proud to say that I have kept my cravings in check, following the daily detox regimen at 95% if not 100% raw. It would appear – according to the fine folks at the Crudessence Detox Workshop – that in week three is when the toxins really start to come out of your body. It can come out in various manners: disturbed sleeping patterns (check!), breakouts (check!) and cravings of all sorts (and, check!), just to name a few. For the last few days I was dying for that big plate of pasta with tomato sauce. It was something serious. I was constantly thinking about the spaghetti, the warm tomato sauce, the sharpness of the parmesan cheese…. BUT! I wasn’t about to cave so I had to find a way around it. A recipe that would give me that same warm and comforting feeling you can only get from a bowl of rich carbs.
So I decided to try to make just that: a big bowl of raw spaghetti pomodoro. Part of the credit for this recipe goes to my friend K., who had mentioned using zucchini to make spaghetti by essentially cutting the zucchini into a julienne (aka cut into thin matchstick pieces) and using that instead of the actual pasta. I did not have the tool to shortcut my way to julienne so I went to my nearest kitchen gadget/accessories/supply store to hunt for a julienne peeler (see above picture). For the cost of about $12 it was well worth to make my julienne-ing life easier. If you do not have such a device or a mandoline with a julienne slicer, you can just as easily use a standard vegetable peeler to cut thin slices, stack them to slice thin spaghetti-like strips.
The ingredients are listed for a single portion, so it is easy to double, triple or quadruple depending on how much you need. I had this as my main course for dinner but I will certainly be serving this as an appetizer next time I have a dinner party.
Raw Spaghetti Pomodoro
- 1 zucchini
- 1 fresh Roma tomato, core removed (or any tomato of your choice)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Basil leaves
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt, pepper, chili flakes
Using your vegetable/julienne peeler, slice the zucchini until you have a bowl of ‘spaghetti’. Put the tomato in a blender or food processor, add a pinch of salt and chili flakes, and blend until liquefied and smooth. Take a couple basil leaves, stack them on top of each other, roll them up and slice them very thinly. The end result is what you call a chiffonade. Only when you are ready to serve, toss the zucchini with the garlic a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. If you mix the zucchini with the salt too early it will extract too much moisture from the zucchini and may get soggy.
Serve the zucchini spaghetti topped with the tomato sauce and a scattering of your lovely and fresh basil chiffonade. Serve it cold or at room temperature. You can also serve it warm, which is exactly what I did. In order to keep the raw/living food factor in this dish, you want to make sure you are only warming and not cooking. To do this, bring a dry pan to low heat and toss in the zucchini for a minute or two, just long enough to heat through and plate-up immediately. With the remaining heat in the pan, pour in the tomato sauce and give it a few swirls so that it warms. Serve over the zucchini and sprinkle your basil chiffonade on top. This dish hit the spot just right and killed my craving right where it originated. It was so good, that I actually prepared a second helping for myself immediately after licking my first plate clean.