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
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
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!!!