I am the worst hostess ever for Pasta Please. No sooner do I set the Make Your Own Pasta challenge, but I acquire a Herman starter and become obsessed with him, and then disappear into my politics blog for a round of intensive pre-election blog-writing, pausing only to run out and sing in what feels like every church in Melbourne. It’s a shocker.
But I am not a total failure, because here I am, a day before the end of the challenge, and I have made pasta! Or a kind of pasta anyway. What with not being in my kitchen long enough to cook much of anything for the last couple of weeks, getting out the pasta machine was never going to be an option. But my vegetable spiraliser is another story, and I had this random idea one one of the hot days recently about cucumber noodles, which would surely be an incredibly cooling thing to eat. But what do you put with cucumber? Well, I’m fairly sure cucumber gets used in Gazpacho, which is also lovely and cooling… at least until the lid falls off your bottle of hot sauce at the crucial moment and you accidentally add a tablespoon rather than a teaspoon. My face is still tingling hours later…
Anyway, cucumber noodles with Gazpacho sauce it was, and very cooling and delicious it was too. Alas, the weather was also quite cold, and not so auspicious for my purposes, so I’m calling this a trial run for the summer. This is more of a light meal than a main, by the way – sort of a fancy salad, really. But it’s very fast to make, and would be a beautiful starter for a long summer meal.
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3 roasted capsicums (from a jar is fine, you’re adding vinegar anyway)
6 roma tomatoes + 1 for the guacamole
2 tsp red wine vinegar (see?)
1 tsp hot sauce, or to taste, or however much you drop into the blender by accident
3 celery sticks
1 red onion
a handful of coriander, plus another handful for the guacamole
2 small avocados
1 clove garlic
1 tsp guacamole spice mix (sorry, I’m lazy today)
juice of 1 lime
6 lebanese cucumbersNow what will you do with it?
First, make the gazpacho sauce. Chop the tops off the tomatoes and peel and chop the onion. Put them in a blender with all the other ingredients, and blend until smooth.
Chill until you are ready to serve.
Now, make the guacamole, which you do by chopping the extra tomato as finely as you can, crushing the garlic, and mixing them together with the other ingredients, mashing the guacamole as you go.
Cover and chill while you make the noodles.
Peel your cucumbers, and use a vegetable spiraliser to make them into gorgeous, long, spaghetti strips. If you have no spiraliser, you could cut the zucchini in quarters lengthwise, and use a vegetable peeler to make cucumber fettucine.
Toss the cucumbers with the gazpacho, and top with the guacamole.
This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and low GI. It’s not low FODMAP because of the onion. You could try replacing the onion with a clove of garlic, but I think you’d get a runnier sauce, and this is runny enough!
Obviously, this recipe would also work with zucchini noodles, and the sauce might also be nice with plain old spaghetti, if you wanted a warm meal. You could also skip the pasta, add a cup or so of vegetable juice to the sauce and make actual Gazpacho…
I am submitting this recipe to the Pasta Please challenge, created by the ever-patient Jacqueline Meldrum of Tinned Tomatoes. It’s not too late to join us with your own exciting pasta recipe!