Zucchini Noodles in Rustic Tomato Sauce
Yield: 2 main dish or 4 side servings

As written, this one-pan recipe makes a perfect dinner for two or side dish for four. The recipe can easily be doubled, however. In that case, just be sure to use a skillet with a 12- or 14-inch diameter. Serve with a side of crusty bread to soak up the sauce, or top with grilled chicken or shrimp for added protein.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
  • 2 cups (1 pint) cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 medium-large zucchini plus 1/2 teaspoon salt for sweating
  • Optional toppings: about 2 ounces or 1/4 cup crumbled feta and 2 tablespoons torn, fresh basil leaves (you can eyeball this to taste)


  1. First, spiralize the zucchini. (I like to use the thicker of the two blades so the “zoodles” have more bite and don’t become mushy.) Then place the zucchini noodles in a colander, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, toss well, and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes or up to an hour or so. When ready to add to the sauce, use a clean tea towel or two sturdy, lint-free paper towels and squeeze the excess moisture out of the zucchini. Zucchini has a very high water content and this will create a better texture noodle and prevent the sauce from becoming watered down. At this point, you may wish to snip the long strands into shorter pieces for easier eating later.
  2. For the sauce: In a large skillet (a 10-inch diameter works well), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute or until fragrant but not turning brown. Add the anchovies, mashing them with the back of a spoon. (They will dissolve into a paste and flavor the sauce with no obvious pieces.)
  3. Add the tomatoes, capers, salt, pepper, and sugar. As the tomatoes cook and soften, mash them with a fork to help form a chunky, rustic sauce. Simmer the mixture for 5 minutes or until the tomatoes break down.
  4. Add the squeezed zucchini, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with feta and torn basil, if using. Enjoy as is or with a piece of crusty bread to mop up the sauce.


  • If you really don’t like anchovies–or capers, for that matter–you may omit them. They do provide wonderful flavor though—without a fishy taste–and even those who don’t care for anchovies never seem to know they’re there! Omitting the anchovies would make this an excellent vegetarian option. For a vegan option, omit the feta as well. In this case, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast would provide a hint of cheesy flavor.

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