Pasta salad sometimes gets a bad reputation, especially in the summer, because so many people are trying to avoid carbs. But this recipe turns the notion of pasta salad on its head by replacing real pasta with zucchini ribbons. If prepped and cooked properly, they have the same texture and size of real pasta, maintaining the integrity of the pasta salad experience in a healthier way. And since it's served cold, you can prepare it ahead of time and use it for any occasion.
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Note: This salad can be made well in advance since it is cold, but in order to keep it from getting soggy we recommend keeping the zucchini and favas seperate until plating.
- Dash of salt, plus more for cooking the beans
- 1 Pound fava beans
- 2 lemons
- 2 Teaspoons chili powder
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 4 zucchini, trimmed
- 1/4 Cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 Cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season with salt, to taste. Add the fava beans and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the fava beans, let cool, and shuck them fully. Combine in a sauté pan with the juice of ½ lemon, chili powder, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, and salt. Sauté for 2 minutes, remove from the heat, and set aside.
Create thin strips of zucchini using a cheese plane. (It is essential for the strips to be very thin so that they have the weight and texture of a pasta such as pappardelle.)
Heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan over high heat and add the juice of 1 lemon. Cook the zucchini strips quickly for about 1 minute, stirring constantly so they don't burn. They should, however, caramelize a bit. Make sure to remove the zucchini when it is cooked, but still a bit firm (or, if it were pasta, it would be "al dente").
Let everything cool and then transfer the zucchini and fava beans to a serving bowl. Add the feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and the remaining lemon juice. Mix and serve.