Spaghetti without the spaghetti!  A quick and light way to serve the zucchini that is in abundance right now.  The sauce is bright and fresh and pairs well with the zucchini “pasta”.

Serves 2 as an entree, 4 as a side


  • 2 large zucchinis
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 can pureed tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Fresh spinach
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Several bunches of fresh basil, cut into a chiffonade, divided


  1. Cut the ends off each zucchini and cut in half; use a box grater to grate the zucchinis longwise to create ‘noodles’; Cover with plastic and put in the refrigerator until ready to use
  2. Head 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat until it shimmers; sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until onion begins to soften, about 6 minutes
  3. Add red bell pepper; sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes
  4. Add tomatoes and chickpeas; bring to a simmer
  5. Add spinach; stir until wilted
  6. Simmer over medium-low heat 15 minutes
  7. Add additional salt and pepper, if desired (taste first)
  8. Toss zucchini with remaining olive oil and salt and pepper and microwave for 30-40 seconds; remove from microwave, toss and then drain in colander
  9. Put zucchini in a large bowl, top with sauce and garnish with remaining basil

KT’s Comments

  • This. Was. Good. Even better than I thought it would be; the zucchini noodles were tender and close to the consistency of spaghetti though a little less chewy
  • Box grater didn’t do as good a job at creating ‘noodles’ as I would’ve liked, they were too thin; I am going to get a spiral slicer to use next time; I don’t usually like specialty gadgets like that, but I can’t find a food processor that will do it; will also be able to use this for sweet potato fries!
  • I didn’t drain the zucchini at first so there ended up being a lot of liquid in the bottom of the bowl; I had to carefully drain it off so the sauce wouldn’t get flooded; colander for me next time!
  • I am going to try sautéing the zucchini in a frying pan for a minute or two next time instead of using the microwave (or maybe leave them raw)
Simmering Pomodoro

Simmer Gently