Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Pasta that is not pasta

May 27, 2005

Finalement, Pasta that is not pasta. In this recipe I use thinly sliced raw courgette/zucchini as spaghettini, and courgette/zucchini and beet slices as ravioli. The main ingredient of the sauce is Turkish pickled and roasted peppers, a product I love because of the bits of charred skin still sticking to the pepper flesh. There is nothing like fire to add flavour to food, as our ancestors, if only they could respond to this blog entry, would readily agree.

Pasta that is not pasta
- courgette spaghettini
- courgette ravioli
- beet ravioli
- roasted and pickled paprika coulis
- rocket emulsion

The beet ravioli recipe you can find here. For the courgette spaghettini, please click Please read more to read more.

Pasta that is not pasta: courgette spaghettini (serves 2)

- 1 medium courgette/zucchini, ends chopped off, well washed and dried
- olive oil, use your cooking olive oil, not your fruitiest for this recipe
- garlic
- fleur de sel, because it doesn’t dissolve and it ‘crunches’ nicely… or use sea salt

In this recipe, length matters and you will have to press the courgette firmly into the mandolin while slicing. Work carefully and securely so as to avoid injury using this extremely dangerous but handy kitchen tool.

Place the fine-toothed blade in the mandolin, working over a deep bowl, test the mandolin to make sure you can achieve a fine slice. You will get about 5 slices before getting into the pithy bit of the courgette. Once this threatens to happen, turn the courgette over and begin on the other side. Then flip the courgette 90┬░ and do the other two ’sides’. You can recycle the pithy core of the courgette into a soup for tomorrow.

In a frying pan gently warm 5 long ‘glugs’ of olive oil throwing in mashed garlic at the last moment. If the garlic sizzles, the oil is on the warm side and you can cool it down by removing it from the flame and swirling the contents of the pan around to distribute the garlic. Pour the oil over the courgette and toss in the fleur de sel. Set the spaghettini aside for up to 2 hrs.

To serve, spear the spaghettini with a fork and wrap it around until you get a little nest of ‘pasta’. Nestle the tangle of spaghettini in a puddle of pickled roasted paprika coulis (recipe below).

Paprika coulis

- pickled, roasted paprika (comes in a jar at a Turkish supermarket or butcher)
- olive oil (1tbs per pepper)

Sloppily drain 1 or 2 of the red peppers. Remove any seeds that may still be inside and blend with a bit of olive oil. Blend until straining isn’t necessary, or strain.

To make the courgette ravioli follow the recipe here.

Rocket emulsion (serves 2)

- rocket leaves (one handful)
- olive oil (3 long glugs)
- garlic (to taste)
- juice of 1/2 a lime
- sea salt to taste

Blend all of the ingredient until emulsified.

From l to r: a yet unfinished plate is still pretty, guest Michael Burke, guest and culinary historian/food writer Patrick Faas, guest and chef-inspirateuse Marlein Overakker.

Since October 2004 I have been working through the recipes in Klein and Trotter’s RAW, an extremely vegetarian raw food cookbook. Because I am also in the process of writing a cookbook I know how difficult it is to make a cohesive set of recipes that represent a certain style of cooking. It is for this reason that I find it such a pity that RAW leaves out recipes using the technique of ‘warm marinating’. This is when one warms up oils or infusions to around 50┬░c and puts the raw foods in them with the purpose of combining or intensifying flavours. In light of Klein and Trotter’s abundant use of the dehydrator I find this technique more appropriate to the idea of of preserving the enzymes in foods and that is the foundation of raw food cooking.

debra at 9:01 | | post to


  1. It’s true. Fire makes food taste great. Once glazes for ceramics were invented, we could cook without exposing the food directly to the fire and had some generations without the taste of fire in our food. This period was a black and bland.

    I am an ancestor, and I agree readily with Debra. Raw food benfits greatly from the taste of fire.

    Comment by ancestor — May 27, 2005 @ 17:41

  2. Thanks for the ENTIRE Culiblog site - I’ve gone backwards and read many of the old posts and the writing is grand, not to mention the fact that I share some of the same attitudes towards food and cooking, so of course the site appeals to me.

    Keep up the good work, and thank you!


    Comment by Miss Tenacity — May 27, 2005 @ 18:37

culiblog is a registered trademark of Debra Solomon since 1995. Bla bla bla, sue yer ass. The content in this weblog is the intellectual property of the author and is licensed under a Creative Commons Deed (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5).