There are very few times in my life where I think to myself, “hm, maybe I shouldn’t use tahini in this recipe.” More often than not, I am absolutely enamored with this ingredient because of the umami it adds to savory dishes, and the texture it adds to sweet recipes. I love making sauces, dressings, and dips using tahini, and can always think of another reason to use it in pasta. This time I wanted to create a light and bright end of summer pasta, with a tangy sauce that can even double as a creamy dip for crudités.
To add body and richness to the pasta, I started by caramelizing shallots and garlic in olive oil, and then adding zucchini. I cooked the zucchini until tender, and then added the halved grape tomatoes until they just burst – seasoning throughout, of course. The caramelization of the shallot and garlic, sweetness of the tomato, and melt in your mouth zucchini all serve as great complements to the velvety sauce.
To make the sauce, I start with a base of tahini, add fresh lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, and season to taste with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. I thin it out with a bit of water if it starts to seize – start with a tbsp or two, and mix until I have my desired consistency.
I chose to add to this sauce was Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar to this sauce because it brightens and awakens food your food with this really clean and crisp flavor. To be honest, and you know I always am, I am absolutely not the type of person to throw back ACV in a shot like it’s my job. I just simply…cannot. However, I am obsessed with adding Nature’s Intent ACV to salads, dressings, and sauces like this one because it adds unique flavor and depth with the right amount of acidity that is not only delicious in its tangy taste but also so good for you. Here, it works to balance out the richness of tahini and olive oil, giving that zesty kick that is so delicious in a pasta.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do – when you make it tag me at @dadaeats and #dadaeats on Instagram!
Thank you so much Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar for partnering with me on this post! All views expressed here are my own 🙂
Creamy Lemon-Tahini Pasta with Zucchini and Tomatoes (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
- 12 oz fusilli, penne, or casarecce pasta
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 zucchini, sliced thinly
- 3/4 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/2 tbsp Nature's Intent Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- red pepper flakes
Boil pasta according to instructions on the package. Drain and rinse. Heat pan, and then add the olive oil. Once oil shimmers, add minced garlic and diced shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden and shallots have caramelized. Now, add zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender and translucent. Add halved grape tomatoes and cook until they’ve softened. Add pasta and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Prepare ingredients for the lemon-tahini sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together – you may have to add a tbsp or two of extra water in case the mixture seizes. You want it to be creamy and smooth. Season to taste. Pour sauce over the pasta and vegetables, stirring to combine. Season with salt and pepper, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and serve immediately!