janet @ the taste space

Raw Chunky Tomato Marinara Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

In Mains (Vegetarian) on September 5, 2013 at 6:41 AM

Raw Chunky Tomato Marinara Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

Our vacation was pretty awesome. And pretty overdue. While road tripping from Toronto to Houston was fun, it definitely was not a vacation. Since tickets to Burning Man can be very hard to get, we planned this trip last winter. Rob has been a few times and only had positive things to say about it (other than the insidious playa dust).  In my mind, I thought: Hey, Texas is pretty close to Nevada. We should go to Burning Man! True enough, Houston is closer to Nevada than Toronto is to Nevada, but Houston is still 2000 km from Reno. Not that close.

I plan to summarize Burning Man in next week’s posts, as I recoup and regroup this week. Suffice it to say, I thought it was hot while camping in Nevada’s desert. We boarded the plane from Reno and landed in Houston. A week away and I had already forgotten how HOT, HOT, HOT (and humid) it is in Houston. Since Rob turned off the air conditioner while we were gone, we were greeted with an empty fridge and a hot kitchen. Other than thawing some (delicious) freezer meals, I had little interest in cooking anything. Zucchini noodles to the rescue!

Raw Chunky Tomato Marinara Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

Zucchini noodles have been my go-to lunch this summer. Gabby warned me that Houston’s heat would lead me to more raw foods and she was right. My meals have become simpler. Zucchini noodles are simple enough and of course, are just a vector for the sauce. The end of summer is a prime time for juicy tomatoes, at least in Ontario. I have yet to find tasty tomatoes here in Houston, so I have resorted to cherry tomatoes, which, in general, have more flavour. A portion of the fresh tomatoes are pulsed with a red bell pepper and sun-dried tomatoes along with a bunch of fresh herbs (basil and oregano) and garlic. A dash of chile flakes give a bit of kick and a date balances it out with a bit of sweetness. I topped it with some hemp seeds, too. I actually used a lot more than what I photographed since I knew it wouldn’t be as photogenic. 😉 I usually add the sauce and hemp seeds just before I eat the salad but I took photos of my partially packed lunch. Of course, this sauce will work equally well with your favourite spaghetti-type noodle.

What is your easy, no-cook go-to meal?

Raw Chunky Tomato Marinara Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

This is my submission to this month’s Pasta Please for long noodles, hosted by Johanna, to this week’s Healthy Vegan Fridays, and to this month’s Cooking with Herbs.

Raw Chunky Tomato Marinara Sauce with Zucchini Noodles
Adapted from Raw and Simple

1 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes (6)
1/4 cup fresh basil (20 g)
~1 tbsp fresh oregano (8 g)
1 small pitted date
2 cloves garlic
3/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp Aleppo chile flakes
3 cups chopped tomatoes, divided (I used cherry tomatoes)

4 large zucchini (4 lbs), spiralized (or your choice of cooked noodles)

1/4 cup hemp seeds

1. In a high-speed blender, combine red bell pepper, sun dried tomatoes, basil, oregano, date, garlic, salt, chile flakes and 1/2 cup of the tomatoes. Process until smooth.

2. Place sauce into a food processor and add the remaining tomatoes. Pulse a few times until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped and incorporated.

3. When ready to serve, spiralize your zucchini. Chop any remaining zucchini into cubes. Top zucchini noodles with sauce, chopped zucchini and sprinkle with hemp seeds.

Serves 3-4.

  1. This looks amazing!!!”) I love raw marinara!

  2. I love the idea of a raw pasta sauce for hot days – and I am delighted to have a raw noodle dish for pasta please (thank you) – my only misgiving about the recipe is all the equipment needed – I might just try it with just a food processor and regular pasta. And it just looks so beautiful too – I love the scattered hemp seeds but I understand you would want more – you can never have too many hemp seeds 🙂

    • Thanks Johanna. The spiralizer is such a funny contraption but I love it!! I know there are julienne peelers, too, but I cannot imagine they work as well, or julienne the entire vegetable. You could use a regular peeler to make wider noodles if you are so inclined, though! I’ve done that with asparagus before… very tedious, though 😛

  3. I cannot wait to hear about Burning Man!!! I really want to go one day. I also really want to figure out how to work my spiralizer…

  4. Glad you had a good time! And yeah, no escaping from the heat. I love raw tomato sauce, although I feel guilty that I’m not cooking it and getting the benefit of the lycopenes. The red pepper and sun dried tomatoes must definitely add depth to it.

    A no cook dish that’s great: cauliflower “unfried” rice. (Although tonight am trying buffalo cauliflower for the first time).

    • It is funny you mention the lycopenes. Rob really does not like raw tomatoes but likes cooked ones. Cooking usually brings out their flavours and sweetness. I so miss Ontario tomatoes… maybe I will just get them at a different time here in Houston?

      I actually have a cauliflower so please let me know how the buffalo cauliflower wings turn out! I was planning to make the lentil + cauliflower rice tacos from FatFreeVegan. Rob made our panch phoran curry with the other head of cauliflower.

      • Loved the Buffalo cauliflower. I sent you the recipe and 3 others. Are you still using the saveur e-mail?

      • Can someone send me the recipe for a good buffalo cauliflower? I made a batch recently and HATED it. Threw it away. I can trade you a decent raw-ish-garlic-avocado sauce for a single veggie girl!

      • You are too funny. But I will accept your swap! 🙂 I haven’t made them yet but tell me which recipe you didn’t like so I can whether it is similar. 🙂

  5. I can’t wait to hear more about Burning Man! I’ve always considered going but haven’t made the plunge yet…one of these years. 🙂

    This sauce SCREAMS summer!

  6. I heard about Burning Man really randomly talking to a guy in a hostel in Barcelona who showed me his amazing photos of the event. It looks insane but so fun!
    Zucchini noodles have been such a good discovery. I usually just throw some halved cherry tomatoes in but a marinara sounds better. I love them with pesto too 🙂

  7. I love zucchini noodles! My husband I did them with a peanut sriracha sauce a couple weeks ago, it was yummy!!!

  8. Mmmm this sounds great! I’m in Northern Cali and it has been super hot lately – this sounds like a lovely way to enjoy dinner =)

  9. Delicious home-grown tomatoes appear here in late spring. The middle of summer is too hot. The tomato plants still flower, but don’t set tomatoes. Oftentimes, you can find them again in the autumn.

    I have just joined a CSA – http://homesweetfarm.com/HSF%20Our%20Farm.htm

    Although this is my first time with them, so I’m not speaking from experience, they do say that they have tomatoes in their CSA boxes throughout autumn.

    You can email them to ask specifically about tomatoes. I emailed them about a question I had and they responded promptly.

    On another note – so happy to see that you’ve settled in a bit. Houston will probably never be “home” to you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your stay, and take advantage of the good things we do have!

    • Thanks, Chrissie. I am definitely feeling my groove a bit more better. And your tip on enjoying vacations/trips home really hit home after we thoroughly enjoyed Portland/Burning Man…. and now we’re looking forward to our next trip. (American) Thanksgiving in Mexico City!! 🙂

      Thanks for the tip for tomatoes. Funnily enough, I just noticed that Rawfully Organic also mentioned cherry tomatoes this week.. and suggested they were local (a lot was not local when I bought in July). Glad to hear the tomatoes are not far behind although fresh tomatoes in spring sounds great, too. I wonder how long it will take to get apples? I have spotted some reasonably priced Honeycrisps here, though. In Toronto, they are uber expensive!! (Other apples are better priced, though) I have seen local pumpkin farms, so hopefully we get the onslaught of winter squash, too, in the fall. 🙂

  10. Also, Janet, regarding raw tomato pasta sauces…

    My favorite is a pasta puttanesca. Because it’s a puttanesca, it does have anchovy paste, and that’s where it gets a lot of its flavor. Also, a nice sprinkling of Parmesan, or other Italian hard cheese.

    But I do want to say that what you do, after you assemble your sauce ingredients, including chopped tomatoes, olives, basil, garlic, olive oil, etc., you put it into a glass dish with a glass lid and you set it outside in our hot sun for the day. The sun slow-cooks the tomatoes and combines the flavors into a puttanesca to weep over.

    Like I said, this dish does have anchovy paste so I know it’s probably not for you, and our summer is, thankfully, coming to a close, so it’s a little late in the season to be telling you about this…

    But the next time you’re assembling your pasta sauce ingredients, and they include raw tomatoes, you might try setting your dish out in the sunshine for the day.

  11. Zucchini noodles? Genius!! Must try this out.

  12. Gabby is so right! Zucchini noodles are definitely my go to meal for hot summer days. Today I actually saw the tar in the road melting. Love the sound of your marinara. Thanks for sharing at Raw Foods Thursdays!

  13. […] 3. Raw Chunky Tomato Marinara Sauce with Zucchini Noodles from The Taste Space: […]

  14. […] love it when readers help me learn the ropes of my new town. It took me a while to wrap my head around it, but it is just too hot for most […]

  15. […] salad is courtesy of Raw & Simple, which I verily enjoyed (un)cooking through this summer, amid Houston’s hot heat. Judita has written a cookbook with […]

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