Zucchini Pasta Ribbons: Gluten-free, raw and amazing.

So easy. So delicious! Gluten-free and raw and amazing. Zucchini pasta!

It's not really pasta. It's zucchini. But use it like pasta that has already been cooked, and the possibilities are endless!

The first step is to create zucchini ribbons. There are many fancy kitchen gadgets that will do this for you, but a plain ole potato peeler can work well, too. A potato peeler will make ribbons like a wide fettucine, whereas a spiralizer will create thinner strands. Whichever method you choose, trim the ends off of a fresh, washed, medium sized zucchini and start peeling! Make long strands, and if using the peeler, rotate the squash often so that the peeler is always cutting at an angle; this will create ribbons of uniform width. If the squash is young and tender, the inner seeds will not have ripened yet and the entire flesh may be used; if the squash is older, you may want to discard the core containing the seeds.

My favorite way to eat this is in the heat of summer, in a light, fresh meal composed of fresh ingredients. Like pasta itself, this dish is easily adapted to suit the ingredients at hand. As a starting place, try it with sautéed onions, halved cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and a grating of fresh parmesan cheese. Toss the zucchini ribbons into the pan, still warm from the onions, and mix all the ingredients together with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. The residual heat from the pan will help the squash ribbons become more flexible and coat them with flavors. Salt and pepper to taste.

But don't stop there. You can use this squash to stretch regular pasta further. Or eat it by itself with feta, olives, and fresh or dried tomatoes. Pesto, pine nuts or walnuts, artichoke hearts, bacon, chard or spinach, egg, butter...any of these ingredients are right at home in a bowl of zucchini ribbon pasta!

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