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When it comes to marinara sauce and pasta, the sauce is never really the part that busts your diet. Noodles are generally made with white flour and offer nothing but empty calories and simple starches. So, while the marinara sauce recipe doesn’t need to stray very far from its original version, by substituting noodles with vegetables, you save the calories and carbohydrates — to say nothing of the post-meal heaviness — that traditionally accompanies pasta dishes. This raw zucchini pasta with leek tomato sauce recipe shows you just how easy it is to put together a deliciously unique pasta dish that is light and comforting all in one. Enjoy!

Zucchini is a better substitute for more reasons than lightening you pasta load. It contains only 36 calories and 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance of dietary fiber in just one cup. It is high in manganese, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C. It also has a neutral taste, which means it pairs well with just about any flavor you like. The leek tomato sauce is not a raw marinara, but its warmth helps to soften the noodles and add an element of comfort. 

Raw Zucchini Pasta with Leek Tomato Sauce

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup tomato purée
  • Herbs for garnish

Directions

Using either a spiralizer, a mandoline or a knife, slice zucchini into noodle-like strips. An optional step is to season zucchini noodles with 1 teaspoon of salt and massage with clean hands. The salt breaks down the tough cell walls of the zucchini and softens it. Rinse before eating. Set aside the noodles to prepare the sauce.

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In a saucepan over meadium heat, add the onion and leek to olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the tomato purée to the saucepan and mix. Cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens to your liking.

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Pour the leek marinara sauce over the zucchini and dig in! The warmth of the sauce will soften the zucchini.

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Try using other vegetables as the pasta base and adding other vegetables to the tomato sauce. Enjoy!

Photo Credit: GlowKitchen