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Zucchini Noodles with Basil Pesto

By Tia Ohm

Zucchini noodles are nothing new these days, and for good reason. They are a light and easy-to-make alternative to your average spaghetti. Everywhere you look there are not only zoodle recipes, but many other forms of vegetable noodles that grain-free cooks are enjoying. This recipe can be enjoyed with any of your favorite spiralized veggies. Carrots, beets, and broccoli stems are a few of our favorites, but feel free to experiment. Whatever you choose, be sure it is in season! This time of year zucchini is soon to be plentiful, and we are making sure this recipes is on the top of our list of dinners. Here we sauteed with pesto made with basil from the garden, and that was just perfect. Simple, light, and satisfying; sounds like the ideal summer meal to me. Enjoy!

What You’ll Need:

for the noodles:

  • 6 small zucchini or 3 large
  • salt

for the pesto:

  • 4 cups packed fresh basil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 6 cloves raw garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Note: This will make about 2 cups of pesto, but we will not be using all of it here. You can freeze or save in the fridge for another occasion.

What to Do:

  1. Rinse your zucchini and cut off the ends. Using a mandolin on the smallest toothed setting, slice the zucchinis long ways into a bowl. Alternatively, you can use a spiralizer, or just slice the zucchini into thin noodle-like strips.
  2. Generously salt the zucchini and set aside. This allows the moisture to seep out so it is not too watery when you cook it. Let it sit while you prepare the rest of your dinner.
  3. For the pesto, add all ingredients to a food processor and blend until a paste is formed (you can use a blender here if needed).
  4. When you are ready to make your noodles, heat up a pan with a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Drain the water from the noodles and add to pan with a large scoop of the pesto. Saute together for a couple minutes (just enough to soften the noodles and slightly cook the pesto). Make sure you are constantly stirring throughout the cooking process. Add more pesto if you want, tasting as you go, until the noodles are well coated. Add salt if needed, and top with a light squeeze of lemon juice.
  5. Serve hot with your favorite Italian dish. We made eggplant parmesan to accompany the noodles; it was delicious!

Serves 6 (about 1 small zucchini per person)