Friday, November 18, 2011

Raw Pasta Two Ways (with two delicious raw sauces)

 "The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live."

"The way you cut your veggies reflects the way you live." 
-- Me, earlier today

I love vegetables, but like most things I get b.o.r.e.d very easily.  So cutting veggies up like pasta is nothing new friends, but what I have dressed them with today, well, hello gorgeous (yes you) and what I am tasting in my mouth.  I'm eating the "pasta" pictured in the top right as we speak. I often eat and blog at the same time.  That's why my keyboard looks like a barnacle (so gross).  

I've been making pesto for years and this is my favorite recipe but I find it gets a bit washed out on pasta, so I added one simple ingredient and bam - love! 
The perfect raw pesto.  I adore pesto in any form.  It brings back lovely memories of my beloved Gramie (who was a die-hard cook).  Growing up I spent the summers with my Grandparents (and lived with them for many years).  Gramie often made fresh pesto and I vividly remember her explaining what it was and how to make it with nothing less than grand enthusiasm over the entire process from leaves to paste. Of course I thought it was awesome, and she allowed me to do the best part of the job...drizzling in the oil.  Magic.  If my Gramie was alive today I know she would LOVE my heart-healthy version.  This one's for you Gramie! 
Sauce #1: the perfect raw pesto
-1 large beautiful organic avocado

How To:
1.  Make pesto recipe as specified above and add in the avocado (cut into chunks and blend in food processor with other ingredients)
2.  The avocado gives it just the right "something" that creates a creamy, substantial sauce 
3.  Toss sauce with raw zucchini & carrot "pasta" made with this tool.  You may need to drizzle in some oil to help incorporate the sauce with "pasta"  

*This sauce also works great with cooked gluten-free pasta (this is how I tested it originally

*Pesto is best served at room temperature (in my opinion)
*I use this gadget to get the zucchini to look like pasta noodles.
*Or this awesome julienne peeler works great too for both the carrots or zucchini.
Sauce #2: Fabulous Fig Balsamic Dressing.  This is a sweet/savory sauce from one of my favorite restaurants on the planet, Cafe Gratitude.
The first time I ate at Cafe Gratitude I fell in love; I was smitten like a lovesick teenager, seriously!  Check out their website and I dare you to not feel warm, fuzzy, loved, and excited about their philosophy and their food - my goddess the food!  I'm sure I scared the poor man sitting next to me as I moaned, groaned, and talked to myself through the entire meal (who does that? oh, crazy people like me - okay, I was having a foodgasm if you must know).  I was still chewing my first bite when I spotted their cookbook, ran to it, grabbed it, and proceeded to hold onto it (while I ate) like a miserly mouse clenching the last piece of cheese.  So if you are headed to San Francisco for a visit, call me and I will meet you there and we can be crazy about this place together!  
The fig sauce is located on page 45.  It's fantastic.  I adapted it slightly with what I had on hand, so the original recipe is different.  My adaption is below. 

Sauce #2: Fabulous Fig Balsamic Dressing
-7 black mission figs, quartered
-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-Juice from 1/2 a lemon
-A few turns of the pepper grinder 
-Oil of choice

How To:
1.  Add figs, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and lemon to food processor, blend until Incorporated
2.  Drizzle in oil until creamy 
Shared on: Wellness Weekend over at Diet, Dessert and Dogs, Real Food 101, Fat Tuesdays, Friday Foodie Fix, Gluten Free Wednesdays, Raw Foods Thursday, 


  1. They both sound great! I made an avocado pesto dressing for salad a while back, but never even thought to try it on pasta. Great idea!

  2. Thanks Ricki!

    The pesto is quite fantastic on pasta - and such a nice alternative to tomato based sauces. Rich, creamy, full of beautiful basil flavor.

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Hi
    How does that veggie peeler work? The tool looks like a regular potatoe peeler, how does it make the noodle looking veggies?
    Also, how do you know a "good" balsamic vinegar? I don't want to just buy the most expensive one because that isn't always the best. thanks

  4. You just had me laughing out loud!! Thank you... I needed that after tonight's bedtime with the kids! luck signing up for email updates for your i missing something (totally possible!)

  5. Hi There KellyBelly~

    Great questions!

    The peeler is difficult to see in the picture, but one has little teeth that make the "pastas." I tried to find a video for you online. They sell Titan peelers at Bed, Bath and Beyond (this is where I purchased mine). I love it.

    About the vinegar...
    Luckily, great balsamic vinegar is very inexpensive. My advice would be to love the vinegar your using. If you have some and it tastes funny, then avoid. When using oil and vinegars I've found it's important to really love the way it tastes right out of the bottle, as the flavor is amplified in your final dish. I use Newmans Own Organic Balsamic (runs around $7) and I've had it for well over a year. I go back and forth with different brands though. I would wait on buying an expensive brand and try a few in your price range. If you love what you're tasting, then you have found "the best vinegar you can find" and go with that.

    I added some information to the post about this, great question.

    Be Well,

  6. Hi Tessa~

    Oh I'm so glad you had a laugh tonight. Nighttime routines can be so darn exhausting. I'm like you...I turn right to my computer to decompress after the kiddos are down! We treasure our evenings (the nice, quiet evenings).

    I'm doing some research on the post emailing...little confused about what the RSS Feed is for. Hopefully I will have it all up and running soon. :-)

    Have a good night,

  7. Yes, I figured RSS feed was that...but don't get it either!

  8. These look great! Can't wait to try : 9

  9. Thanks Jen!

  10. Sorry if I missed this, but do you cook the veggie "pasta" or do you eat it raw? I've been meaning to get a device that will make veggie "pasta" and am so happy to see the answer to the question above on where to get one.

    Thanks! I can't wait to try these recipes!

  11. Hi There Brika~

    Thanks so much for your comment and great question. I eat the veggies raw. So delicious. I hope you enjoy the sauces.

    Be Well,

  12. Amber Shea @Almost VeganApril 23, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    That Balsamic Fig sauce sounds AMAZING. Is it in their first cookbook? If so, I'm heading over to my bookshelf right now to check it out! :)

  13. Hi Amber,

    It is sooo good! The book I have is copyright 2007. :-)

  14. Judee @ Gluten Free A-ZOctober 26, 2012 at 12:47 AM

    visiting from Raw Thursday. I love the addition of an avocado to your pesto. Looks amazing



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