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Zucchini Ribbons Romesco

The Romesco sauce is so ridiculously easy that it will become a go-to to toss with pasta and veggies or drizzle over meat. The toasted nuts in the sauce give it a nice texture and the smoked paprika gives it a great, smoky flavor. I added some Kalamata olives to the dish for an extra pop of saltiness.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 servings
Author: The Kitchen Prep


  • 2 medium zucchinis {thinner ones if possible}
  • About ⅓ cup jarred roasted red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons roasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons roasted hazelnuts*
  • 4 pearl tomatoes {or 2 medium Roma tomatoes}
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar preferably red or white wine {or fresh lemon juice}
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped black or kalamata olives


  • Using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler, create long, thin strips with the zucchini. Set aside until ready to cook.
  • Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, combine the roasted red pepper, garlic, almonds, hazelnuts, tomatoes, vinegar, smoked paprika, cayenne and salt by pulsing until chunky.
  • Open the feed spout and pour in the olive oil while pulsing, and blend until not quite smooth. {You want it to have some texture.}
  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, place zucchini strips and about 2 tablespoons of water. Cover with a lid {or an overturned plate large enough to place over the top} and allow the zucchini to steam for about 3-4 minutes. Uncover and allow most of the water to cook off.**
  • Pour in about half of the Romesco sauce, and gently shake the pan to toss with the zucchini. Cook for 2-3 minutes more just to warm the sauce through and allow the zucchini to become "floppy". Add olives and toss to combine. Serve immediately {with a sprinkle of cheese, if desired}.


*If you don't have hazelnuts, you can simply double the amount of almonds.
** Zucchini gives off a lot of water and can dilute sauces easily. I've found that by cooking off some of the liquid they give after steaming, the final product is less watery. Serving right away also helps.
Yield: 2 cups of sauce & 2 large servings of zucchini ribbons
Sauce recipe adapted from Bon Apetit