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.
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.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
For the Pesto sauce:
- Basil – 1 cup
- Spinach – 1 cup
- Pine nuts – 60 gms or 1/4 cup (toasted)
- Parmesan cheese – 60 gms or 1/4 cup (Freshly grated)
- Olive oil – 1/4 cup
- Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
- Black pepper (ground)- 1/4 teaspoon
- Garlic cloves – 2
- Lemon – 1/2
For the pasta:
- Zucchini noodles – 500 gms
- Yellow bell pepper – 1/2 (Julienned)
- Shallots – 1 (Julienned)
- Cherry tomatoes – 1 cup (Halved)
- Black olives (pitted) – 1/2 cup
- Oregano – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – 1 teaspoon
- Black pepper (ground) – 1/4 teaspoon
- Mix basil leaves, garlic cloves and toasted pine nuts and pulse together in a food processor / blend in a blender.
- Add Olive oil to the mix and blend till smooth.
- 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.
- In a salad bowl add the pesto to the zucchini noodles and mix well.
- 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!
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.
I hope you enjoy the salad!