Posso suonare il mandolino – Tagliatelle di zucchine con salsa al pomodoro, ceci e origano

I bought a new mandoline before I would slice a few of my fingers, one day I cut the tip of my index while shaving fennel and had to go to the emergency room, so my new mandoline is much better and safer, and in the kitchen safety is somehow an important part of the whole game.

With my new De Buyer (being faithful to European made utensils because I know them better, I had to buy a French one, actually I have Japanese knives that are incredible) and one of the great feature of this mandoline is that you can adjust the thickness of the cut by twisting the handle from left to right or right to left. The blade is lightly dented so you can get a very thin and sharp cut, or a thick (and still sharp) cut, even on soft fruits and vegetables like very ripe kiwis or oranges.

So to try out my new mandoline, I wanted to make a whole dish with sliced vegetables because I just felt like playing with it. I’m sure I am not the only one who loves to play with a brand new toy. When I buy new clothes, I have to wear them right away, even if I have to run to the store buy salt, I can wear a brand new silk shirt just for the simple pleasure to wear something new. When it comes to kitchen utensils, it’s the same. What to do with 12 zucchini and a mandoline? well you just go crazy and slice them to make tagliatelle. So here they are…

My mom makes an traditional Italian dish made with pasta and chick peas so I used her tomato sauce twisting it around a little and used it on the zucchini tagliatelle. I really loved this dish, it’s savory, fragrant due to the oregano, light and nutritious, so how can you say no to that? This is a fairly simple dish, with a few ingredients which most of the time, if you have great quality ingredients, turns out delicious. You can taste all the ingredients in one bite and it all blends in a beautiful symphony of flavors.

For the tomato purée, I used the imported Italian tomato sauce from Parmalat, it’s just crushed tomatoes with nothing else added, they have quite a un-acidic flavor unlike some other tomatoes. Parmalat is a very famous brand in Italy and I knew them for their dairy products and mainly milk that was sold in card board like here they would sell orange juice, which healthier to use than canned tomatoes. I was excited to be able to find the Parmalat tomatoes. Grazie Parmalat! You can use fresh tomatoes too, but they need to be of good quality or the sauce will not be as good.

Ingredients for 2-3 as a side dish

  • 6 zucchini sliced lengthwise
  • 7 oz (or 200 g) cooked chick peas
  • 10 oz (or 300 g) good quality crushed tomato or fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 garlic clove
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh shaved parmesan for garnish


Start preparing the sauce. In a small pot, heat olive oil, add garlic, stir for about 30 seconds, then oregano. After about 1 minutes (watch out not to burn the garlic) add 1 cup tomatoes, salt, pepper and cayenne.  Add wine. Let the sauce cook until the water has evaporated, add chick peas and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Using the mandoline, slice zucchini lenghtwise in about 2mm ribbons. Bring salted water to a boil, add zucchini and cook for about 30 seconds. Drain, and carefull pat dry with a towel, making sure not to break the zucchini. Add to the tomato sauce, stir carefully. Add extra oregano, and serve with sahved parmesan on top.