Recipe: Danny Elmaleh’s Zucchini Pappardelle

Pasta-less pasta? The Vetro chef shows us how and why you’d want to ditch the noodle

Zucchini season is a dream for vegetable lovers—but can be a nightmare for gardeners who find themselves suddenly overrun with plump green cylinders around this time every year. There’s only so much ratatouille one family can eat, after all. So, we shred it into loaves of cake, sneak it into meatloaf, and stealthily drop zucchini-laden sacks onto neighbors’ doorsteps. If you’ve ever contemplated a way to work little green cubes into your oatmeal, then congratulations, you’ve grown your own zucchini. That’s why we sort of love the slate of “pasta-less pastas” on the new menu at West Hollywood’s Vetro restaurant. In place of pappardelle, chef Danny Elmaleh uses ribbons of thinly sliced zucchini to lap up a tangy end-of-the-L.A.-summer sauce made with capers and heirloom tomatoes. Sure, it’s low carb and gluten free, but we adore this meatless main for the way it whips through a few pounds of those pesky, prodigious, palate-pleasing squash. 

Zucchini Parpadelle

(2 servings)

2 medium zucchini
5 ounces potato starch
½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon chili flakes
¼ teaspoon vegetable stock
2 tablespoons capers in brine
1.5 tablespoons heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup Basil (cut to strips)
¼ cup Basil purée (Puree 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil with 1 cup of basil in blender. Add salt to taste).
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan, plus more to garnish
Salt to taste
Cut zucchini ¼” thick by 4” long, discard the centerpieces and separate the slices
Toss zucchini with potato starch to coat.
Warm the EVOO in a large skillet over high heat.
Add chili to pan and shimmer.
Add zucchini and stock and cook till zucchini is slightly soft (approximately 1 min).
Add capers, tomatoes, and basil and season to taste for 2 min.
Add Parmesan and pesto off heat.
Plate and garnish with basil.

Total Time: 30 min
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 15 min