Raw Foods How-To: Zucchini Tagliatelle (With a Recipe)

by Gena on August 28, 2012


If you have any acquaintance with raw food prep at all, then you’ve surely experimented with “zucchini pasta”—zucchini that has been cut into long, thin strands to resemble regular spaghetti. There are all sorts of ways to do this: you can use a simple vegetable peeler if it’s all you have. You can use a box grater or mandolin. And if you feel like making an investment, you can get a “spiralizer.” The most popular, fancy model is the Paderno spirooli, seen below. It cuts zucchini into a linguinie shaped noodle:

But my personal preference, actually, is for the Joyce Chen saladacco spiral slicer, which makes vermicelli shaped zucchini noodles:Joyce Chen 51-0662, Saladacco Spiral Slicer, White


That said, variety is the spice of life, and it’s as easy to tire of one type of zucchini pasta as it is to tire of one kind of wheat pasta. On Thursday, I was really inspired by the long, flat, thick zucchini noodles I tried at Maurepas, which were marinated delicately in a touch of salt, lemon or vinegar, and olive oil, then served with a blueberry dressing:


They were so elegant and lovely, and I thought, “why has this never occurred to me?”

The next day, I set out to make thick, flat zucchini noodles of my own—zucchini tagliatelle, if you will—and the results were fantastic.

Want to try it yourself? The trick is simply to lay the zucchini flat on a table, trim off the ends, and then use a vegetable peeler to shave off one long, lengthwise piece.


Keep working from end to end, creating long, flat noodles (they’ll get wider as you near the center of the zucchini!).

If they’re so wide it’s silly, cut them in half when you finish:



Then, marinate your noodles in a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar, a teaspoon or two of olive or avocado oil, and a sprinkle of sea salt for a few hours to soften them. After that, you’re ready to use!

A few days after I made my wonderful heirloom tomato and pumpkinseed basil napoleon in New Orleans, I still had some of the pumpkinseed basil spread leftover. I figured that it would be lovely in a pasta dish, and I was right: after prepping my zucchini tagliatelle as specified above (slicing, then a quick olive oil. lemon, and sea salt marinade), I tossed them with some spoonfuls of the pumpkinseed basil spread. It was a simple, delicious, and elegant lunch dish:


Talk about raw food made easy!logo5474002_lg (2)

I’d serve this dish with a salad of mixed vegetables, legumes, and/or quinoa. White bean salad would be a particularly good accompaniment!

This post just goes to show that, even after years of a single food prep method (zucchini pasta), one can be surprised and delighted by a new trick of the trade. One of the best things about this method is that it requires no fancy food equipment at all, but still makes a beautiful presentation. Who said raw food had to be difficult or complicated? Dishes like this one prove how simple, creative, and lovely raw vegetable prep can be.


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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Janae @ Bring-Joy August 28, 2012 at 10:41 am

I had one of those fancy spiralizers, but my kids, wouldn’t you know it, broke it! So sad about that one, because I loved the angel hair raw pasta I could make using zucchini. T

he vegetable peeler trick is new to me, so thanks for sharing, a particularly handy thing to know these days, when we’re overwhelmed with a bounty of summer squash.


Averie @ Averie Cooks August 28, 2012 at 10:44 am

At first I thought the title said “Zucchini Tailgate” and I thought, leave it to Gena to come up with a few raw vegan taligating recipes :)


Lauren @ The Homeostatic Mindset August 29, 2012 at 12:44 pm

Haha! I read and thought the same exact thing, initially :)


Nancy August 28, 2012 at 11:33 am

I love the advice to marinate the zucchini! I never thought of that! Thank you!


Eileen August 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Raw zucchini noodles are one of my favorites this summer! I also just use my vegetable peeler–an ancient specimen, probably older than I am, passed down by my mom when I moved into my first apartment. Still going strong! :)


Marissa August 28, 2012 at 1:18 pm

This is how I always make raw zucchini pasta–all I have is a vegetable peeler, and I love being able to do this without fancy appliances! It’s also really good with raw tomato sauce.


Marissa@ohhhsolovely August 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

i cannot wait to get a spiralizer! i’ve seen them around quite a bit lately and think one would come in handy!


Caralyn @ glutenfreehappytummy August 28, 2012 at 2:49 pm

oooh zoodles!! i love this method:)


Lisa @ The Raw Serenity August 28, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Simple really does make the best meals some times!
I love raw zucchini noodles. I often have them with your raw pasta sauce.


Steph August 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

How funny, Angela over at Oh She Glows just posted on zucchini noodles! She discovered that you can use a julienne peeler to get the same effect, which was very exciting to me because I wasn’t too excited to get another kitchen tool that would take space. Tried the noodles today, so yummy!!


Christa @ Edible Balance August 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm

I love my spiralizer! I’m not going to tell my husband of this method, it’ll be my little secret ;) I’m pretty sure he would roll his eyes at the fact that I could have done without it, haha. He’s going to start protesting at all the equipment I have in the kitchen!


Gena August 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Ha! Kitchen stuff is a way better investment than some things we could all easily spend money on, though…


janet @ the taste space August 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Nice! This is how I make my zucchini lasagna. I have a nut-free version I will post this week.. so delicious! :)


Kari @ bite-sized thoughts August 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I had zucchini noodles prepared like this last night :) I don’t have a spiralizer so it’s the only way I ever have them!


Dreena Burton August 28, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Oh, I love prepping zukes with my veg peeler – and yet never thought to slice the thick ones lengthwise like that!! (um, why not??) :) Zukes are one of my very fave veg, eat them every day and yet have never marinated them. Thanks for that idea – and yes, there is nothing daunting or fussy with this particular raw food prep… not at all! xo


Gena August 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I am a zuke fanatic, too!


Alex @ Raw Recovery August 28, 2012 at 11:24 pm

I’ve had raw pastas a few times and I absolutely love them. I’ve never tried making them myself but this looks so easy that I’m sure I could execute it with a reasonable outcome :) I bet this would be great with a cashew cheese…I’m hungry now!


Lauren @ The Homeostatic Mindset August 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm

I want a spiralizer so bad!!! It’s an absolute tragedy that I have YET to even sample a spiralized pasta dish :( On second thought, maybe tragedy is too intense of a word, but it is sad, nonetheless. I must rectify this!


Gena August 29, 2012 at 4:18 pm

Yes, but the point of this post is to say that you can make veggie pasta without one! So don’t be too sad ;)


Christine (The Raw Project) August 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Great info here, thanks! I have both spiral slicers and like them both for different occasions, but the blade seems to bend easily on my Joyce Chen one and hubby gets to fix it. :-) I need to try marinating more, that sounds wonderful!


Kate August 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Hi Gena. I would love your thoughts on making the blueberry dressing…it looks delicious. I am interested in recipes without olive oil. Many of the ones online have honey and sugar.


Alice September 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm

This is a great way to eat zucchini! I also saw a recipe on The Splendid Table website for sauteed zucchini strands with olive oil, garlic, lemon, and mint. That’s next on my list.


Grace Geiger September 3, 2012 at 10:21 am

This looks delicious! So excited to try a new recipe for my garden zucchini!


Kait @ yogabeautylife September 5, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Gena – are the measurements for the lemon juice, oil, etc for per zucchini??


Stephen September 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm

I tried this for dinner last night and absolutely loved it. I used zucchini from the local farmers market and it tasted great. I consider myself somewhat of a vegan and raw aficionado and have found some other great recipes at http://www.relish.com/. I am excited to see what your next recipe will be!


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