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Zucchini Pasta Sauce with Globe-Trotting Provenance

July 11, 2011

By Pat Tanner

One of the aspects of food writing I enjoy most is gathering recipes from home cooks. I never know when or where I’ll encounter the next great find. One time it was at a Filippino food festival at my local park; another time, an unexpected gift of 75 recipes painstakingly recorded over two years by a loving granddaughter sitting in the kitchen of her elderly French-Moroccan grand-mere, who never measured anything.

But I was especially tickled by the 21st century nature of how the following recipe for an easy, delicious zucchini sauce wended its way to me. With the annual overabundance of zucchini and other summer squash at hand, it could not have arrived on my doorstep (or rather, in my email inbox) at a better time. It’s very forgiving, so a bit more or less olive oil, herbs, or Parmesan isn’t going to make it or break it.

Here’s the lineage: I got it from my good friend Anne Glynn-Mackoul of Princeton, who serves on the central committee of the World Council of Churches in Geneva and travels there several times a year. One of her colleagues is Kelly Brownlee, an American ex-pat living inGeneva, working as director of development for the Bossey Institute of the World Council of Churches. Brownlee’s husband oversees a huge organic garden that supplies the Bossey Institute with its produce all summer. He got the recipe from a woman who runs a large-scale organic farm in a small town inFrancecalled Braux, nearDijon. Her husband was volunteering on the farm through a program called WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms).

And now, it has arrived in your inbox from me. Pass it on.


Zucchini Sauce via Kelly Brownlee

3 large zucchini

Olive oil

One cup of feta cheese

Herbes de Provence

Parmesan cheese


Sauté the zucchini in the olive oil until very tender. Extra oil is good as it goes into the sauce. While still hot, transfer to a food processor and puree. Immediately put back into the pan you were using and add the feta, and herbs, stirring until well blended. Add Parmesan cheese to taste, and a few more herbs or salt if it needs it.

This sauce is good served over pasta, but we have also used it for vegetarian lasagna, substituting it for tomato sauce, and using a layer of spinach, mozzarella cheese,

and sautéed mushrooms.

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