Monday, May 3, 2010
Meat-Free Monday - Raw Spaghetti
This is actually a recipe called "Pasta alla Marinara", from Carol Alt's book, Eating in the Raw. She got this recipe from Quintessence, a raw restaurant in NYC.
In my effort to eat more naturally and vegetarian, I have decided to try eating raw more often than not. This recipe seemed simple enough, and I thought, if I like this raw dish, I am well on my way to eating raw more and more.
Well, I liked it. My husband really liked it, too. . . the first night. I kept suggesting it as dinner, and even as lunch, and he just wasn't all that jazzed about it. He couldn't explain why. He said it was good and tasty, but his desire for it just wasn't there.
Maybe an andouille sausage would have made it more appetizing? Not exactly raw or vegetarian!
I could eat this every other day for a whole week and probably then, just start to get tired of it. The sauce is outrageously tasty. Of course, I love green olives and bell peppers, so this had all my favorite spaghetti ingredients. And, with Phoenix summers being insanely hot, this raw dish will be cool and refreshing and filling at the same time.
Pasta Alla Marinara, from Carol Alt's Eating in the Raw
5 pounds yellow summer squash
6 large tomatoes
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves
1/2 bunch fresh basil
1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons choped fresh sage
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup cold-pressed olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
5 dates, pitted
1 tablespoon evaporated sea salt
1/4 cup olives, chopped
1/4 cup tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup red bell peppers, chopped
1/4 cup red onions, chopped
For the "pasta", thinly slice the yellow squash with a sharp knife, or, better yet, use a turning (spiralizing) slicer to cut squash into curly strands. Set aside. For the Marinara sauce, put all the sauce ingredients in a blender and puree until creamy. Pour sauce on spiralized yellow squash pasta and top with olives, tomatoes, bell peppers and onions.
OK - now for our version. We are two empty nesters, so we certainly did not need to make enough to serve 5! So I sliced one small to medium sized squash for one full plate serving of "pasta". When I made this for lunch, I sliced one squash, and did 1/2 per plate and that was plenty. Also, the only fresh herb we have is rosemary (growing in our garden!), so substituting dried herbs was fine. We didn't have tarragon or sage, so those were left out. We also don't like onions, so those were left out. And, I did not have dates, so we went without. Regular salt worked fine in place of the expensive sounding evaporated sea salt.
This dish is interesting for so many reasons. First, I didn't know yellow summer squash could be eaten raw. I thought it HAD to be cooked. Wrong! It tastes very mild raw, and there is no bitterness at all. (I thought it had to be cooked to get rid of the bitterness, but I think cooking it may make it bitter.) Second, the raw tomato sauce was exactly like cooked spaghetti sauce, it just wasn't steaming hot, leaving all the nutrients intact. And, third, the toppings added to the sauce made it exactly like the chunky spaghetti sauce I enjoy cooking for my family.
Delicious! Now, I just need to figure out how to get the hubby to eat it more than just once. . . . . :-)