If you like pasta but you are part of the “calorie counting club” then this is the recipe for you. I am not a vegan but since I have to eat gluten free, I find that this “zucchini pasta” is filling, healthy and it feels just like you are eating a big bowl of pasta but without all the calories. It is incredibly easy to do, and you can have it as a main dish or as a side dish of your protein of choice.
All you need to do is combine all the ingredients in a food processor to make the pesto sauce. To make the zucchini noodles you can use a spiralizer or you can cut them julienne style – but who has time for that? I recommend investing in a small spiralizer like this, it is easy to use and you don’t need much space to store it. This other style is the “classic spiralizer” that most people know and use. The Paderno can be stacked together for storage.
This dish tastes equally good whether it is hot or cold. During warmer months I would definitely serve it cold, with a side of heirloom tomatoes drizzle with olive oil and mint. For a pasta like feel, you can sautéed the noodles for a few minutes and they will get a little firmer. That’s pretty much all the cooking you will perform.
A few things to note:
- Always buy organic Zucchinis since conventional ones are genetically modified.
- Since Zucchinis are made of 95% water, once spiralized let them drain in a colander.
- Add the sauce once you are ready to serve to avoid “watery” noodles.
- If you are dairy free, you can replace the cheese for grated brazil nuts
- You can easily replace pine nuts for chopped pistachios
- To peel the pistachios faster, toast them lightly, and when they cool, the skin will come off.
- If you decide to go for the pistachios, add the ½ cup of parsley to tone down the sweetness
Effort: Mild Medium Strong
Time: 20 minutes
- 6 large zucchini, spiralized
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup of fresh parsley (if you use pistachios)
- 3 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup pine nuts or chopped pistachios (reserve some for sprinkling on top)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp. Himalayan salt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- Parmesan cheese or grated brasil nut
- Cracked black pepper, to taste
- Spiralize your zucchini and set aside in a colander to drain.
- If short on time, lay them in paper towels so that any excess water is soaked up.
- In a food processor, add the avocados, basil leaves, parsley, garlic, pine nuts or pistachios, lemon juice and Himalayan salt and pulse until finely chopped. Then with the motor still running, add olive oil in a slow stream until smooth and creamy.
- Drizzle olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat then add zucchini noodles, cooking for about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add zucchini noodles to a large bowl and toss with avocado pesto.
- Season with cracked pepper and sprinkle Parmesan or Brazil nut and the chopped pistachios.