09 February 2012

My Husband, the Chef

I am one lucky woman.  You see, my husband likes to cook.
He spoils me rotten around here.
He delights in looking up recipes.
He wears an apron (big hint to men:  that's sexy).
He loves to wow me with his cooking genius...even if it's just the two of us.
And he LOVES Italian food.

Could there be anything better?  Or more romantic?  I just about die every time my husband cooks for me.

Well, after we got married, I learned that I needed to go gluten-free for health reasons.
GLUTEN-FREE!  Oh my - no more of my husband's delicious pasta, fresh gnocchi, or pizza creations!

Well, one night I was really craving some Italian food, and my Danny's creativity kicked into gear.  He remembered a zucchini dish we had a friend's house a year earlier.  And he remembered that we got a French mandoline for our wedding.  And so he got creative to surprise me.  I came home from work to a husband in the kitchen, candlelight, and one of the most delicious meals I've ever had.  To this day it is one of our favorite meals to eat (and the favorite of every dinner guest that we've cooked it for).

And yes, it's ITALIAN.  And we actually like it better than traditional pasta!!  And it is made with a pasta sauce that Danny created that night in an attempt to mirror the quality of his favorite Boston restaurant, Giacomo's.  (The sauce was so delicious, once we finished our "pasta" we started eating the tomatoey goodness with a spoon until the pan was licked clean.)

I'm so thankful my sweet husband loves to feed me.  It certainly makes me feel a lot of love around here.

I present to you, the most perfect meal to make for some romantic dining at home......

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta for Two
with Danny's Marinara

gluten free italian

For the Sauce -

1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
3/4 shallot, finely chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 14oz can diced or crushed tomatoes (Hunts has the best texture and taste for this recipe)
1/8 cup white cooking wine
1 Tbsp sugar
1/8 Tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried oregano

Heat oil in medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add chopped garlic and shallot, cook until translucent and soft, .  Place crushed or diced tomatoes into blender or magic bullet and briefly blend (you want to make a smoother consistency without eliminating some chunky texture).   Once blended, add canned tomatoes to sauteed shallot and garlic.  Add cooking wine and stir in sugar and remaining dry ingredients.  Turn heat to low and let the sauce and flavors blend.

For the Pasta -

1 Zucchini, washed, not peeled
1 Summer Squash, washed, not peeled
3 Carrots, peeled
Olive Oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste

Using a mandoline slicer, cut zucchini and summer squash in linguini sized ribbons (french fry width, but less than 1/8 inch thick).  Cut carrots into julienne/matchstick strips.  Place sliced veggies in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and generous amounts of fresh cracked pepper.  Add minced garlic and toss until mixed consistently.

In a large frying pan, place a little more olive oil and heat to medium high.  Add veggie mixture and cook until it reaches desired consistency (I like mine to be soft and even slightly browned...though you might like yours a little more crisp). 

Serve by placing "pasta" in individual bowls, top with a generous amount of sauce, and ENJOY!!!



  1. That is a great idea! I love the italian food, but you gotta watch those pesky carbs! Lucky for me I just bought a mandolin... and now I have a tasty recipe to go with it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I am going to have to try this recipe. Thank you both for sharing it with all of us. I have been really trying to eat a lot healthier and the husband has been gracious enough to go with it.

  3. So nice to know about your love and life story. I too like Italian food. You are so lucky that you have found a husband who likes cooking and very good in kitchen. Love you both!!

  4. Ah! The food and the candles look amazing! And I love that Danny's wearing a hat the whole time :)

  5. Oh man. I love giacomos. We go there every time we are in Boston!

  6. I live just outside of Boston but I've never been to Giacomo's! How is this possible? I will be sure to try it out next time I'm in the North End! My favorite is the Trattoria di Monica on Prince Street - I highly recommend the next time you guys are in town!

  7. Wow he's hot! You go girl!! :)

  8. Yum!! I'm gluten free too and can't wait to try this! Thanks for the recipe!

  9. Mara, I was thinking of you because this issue of Clean Eating Magazine cleaneatingmag.com has a whole GF menu section. you should go get yourself one - it made me want to go GF! Thanks for that yummy recipe.

  10. ok so I have to laugh. I remember you speaking about this once before and I am currently not eating dairy or grains and was trying to think of what to make...and was wishing I had this recipe.......so I come home tonight...and what is there on your site......YES!!!!!!

    1. Oh perfect! I hope you try it soon, please report back and let me know what you think!

    2. Danny - This was amazing! I loved it.....since I dont eat pasta this just made eating "pasta" so much better.....Thank you for sharing it.

  11. I'm seriously hungry just looking at the pictures! Can't wait to try it! Thank you for the recipe! :-)

  12. We'll have to try this! We usually grate up fresh zucchini (from our garden!) and do just regular canned sauce on top. I've stopped eating spaghetti with pasta if I can help it. Zucchini is better tasting, more filling, and healthier! No need to be gluten-free to love this idea!

  13. I just made this and it was so good! It makes me not miss pasta too much either. I love pasta and will eat it but if I can opt for other healthier options with vegetables, I'll take that any day!

    Thanks for the post!


  14. So does it just make two servings then? ps. this looks fleeping AMAZING! :) :)

  15. Yep, this is a meal for two (since that's usually all we have). But it's very easy to cook for more people when the ocassion calls for it. The main difference is that instead of cooking the "noodles" on the stove top, I put them in an oven proof dish and roast them until they get just a hint of golden crisp to them.

  16. I would like to use the picture of your husband by the stove for my blog post, if you don't mind. I will credit you and put a link to your blog if you give me permission. Thank you.


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