Pasta alla Checca

Pasta alla Checca

you can see a video demonstration on youtube

Serves 2

One of my favorite Italian foods is simple pasta. One of my favorite kitchen tools is my spiral slicer. It turns zucchini into pasta noodles that not only look like the real thing, but taste like the real thing, especially when topped with traditional Italian checca.

Pasta alla Checca is a dish created in Italy and served in the summer months when tomatoes are at their peak. It consists of uncooked tomatoes and simple Italian herbs, basil, and the outcome is molto bono (translated means “very good”)! This dish can be eaten at room temp, (my preferred way) or warmed in a dehydrator.

2 large zucchinis
2 large tomatoes, diced, heirloom if possible
or heirloom cherry tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 cup raw olives, coarsely chopped
? cup capers
1–2 teaspoons herbs, thyme, rosemary, marjoram, or Italian herbs of choice
15 fresh basil leaves, ribbon-sliced or torn
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste
Himalayan salt to taste
Freshly milled black pepper to taste
Chili flakes, (optional)

Peel zucchinis or leave skin on. It resembles actual pasta without the skin; however, the green color is appealing to the eyes, so it’s your choice.
Spiralize zucchinis, or if you do not own this kitchen tool, use a potato peeler and make long flat fettuccini-type noodles. You can purchase the spiralizer by clicking “Shop” on the top menu bar and then checking out by category upper left.

Put tomatoes, garlic, olives, herbs, capers, olive oil, basil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Place spiralized zucchini on top and toss until well combined.

To Serve
I use an empty can with both sides removed as a mold to stack the pasta high on the plates. Put a portion of the pasta mixture into the can and tap down lightly to firm shape. Slowly lift the can up. Top with some of the chopped tomatoes, more basil if you like, and sprinkle on Parmesan nut cheese.

Cashew Parmesan Cheese
1 cup cashews
1 clove garlic
Salt to taste
Place all ingredients in food processer and pulse chop until very small pieces, like Parmesan cheese would look.