Zucchini Pesto Pasta

We had a busy Sunday doing chores and running errands. By the evening I was exhausted and didn’t want to spend a lot of time cooking. I love pesto sauce. And a good pasta. So for dinner yesterday, I made a pesto pasta with a twist. I substituted the pasta with zucchini noodles or zoodles, which look like spaghetti, to make the pasta carb free.

A heads-up though, Zucchini  has a high water content – 95%! So serve the salad as soon as it’s ready as the zoodles (zucchini noodles) tend to get soggy.

Zucchini is a low calorie vegetable and can be extremely beneficial in a weight loss diet. It has a lot of other health benefits as well. It is fiber rich and is an excellent source of Vitamin C and a number of other vitamins and minerals. It has a sweet taste when eaten raw. So for my carb free pasta, I used Zucchini noodles. You could use a spiralizer to make the zucchini noodles. If you don’t have one, you could use a vegetable peeler to peel the zucchini lengthwise.

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For my pesto, I used 1 cup basil and 1 cup spinach. Basil is a divine herb. It just adds a wonderful freshness to whatever you add it to. I love it any which way, whether it’s on a pizza, in a sandwich or pasta, salad or even in a drink. It adds a delicious flavour to whatever it’s added to.

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Prep Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

For the Pesto sauce:

  1. Basil – 1 cup
  2. Spinach – 1 cup
  3. Pine nuts – 60 gms or 1/4 cup (toasted)
  4. Parmesan cheese – 60 gms or 1/4 cup (Freshly grated)
  5. Olive oil – 1/4 cup
  6. Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  7. Black pepper (ground)- 1/4 teaspoon
  8. Garlic cloves – 2
  9. Lemon – 1/2

For the pasta:

  1. Zucchini noodles – 500 gms
  2. Yellow bell pepper – 1/2 (Julienned)
  3. Shallots – 1 (Julienned)
  4. Cherry tomatoes – 1 cup (Halved)
  5. Black olives  (pitted) – 1/2 cup
  6. Oregano – 1 teaspoon
  7. Salt – 1 teaspoon
  8. Black pepper (ground) – 1/4 teaspoon

Instructions:

  1. Mix basil leaves, garlic cloves and toasted pine nuts and pulse together in a food processor / blend in a blender.
  2. Add Olive oil to the mix and blend till smooth.
  3. Add spinach, parmesan, salt and pepper and blend till the pesto sauce is smooth. Squeeze and add the juice of half a lemon and blend for a few seconds.
  4. In a salad bowl add the pesto to the zucchini noodles and mix well.
  5. Add onions, peppers, olives and tomatoes to the salad bowl and the seasoning – oregano, salt and pepper and mix well so the vegetables are coated with the sauce. Serve chilled!

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And presto! Your pesto pasta is ready to be served. That was cheesy but I had been wanting to say it since I thought of it after I made it yesterday.

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I hope you enjoy the salad!

2 thoughts on “Zucchini Pesto Pasta

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