homemade pesto pasta using zucchini noodles aka ‘zoodles’

do we have any pasta lovers out there?

even though i’ve got italian in my blood, i’m partial to big pasta dishes because i never feel good and satisfied after eating them. however, i love the concept of noodles… a big bowl of something warm and comforting with all sorts of toppings. yes, please! and, you get to twirl your fork and create a delicious combination with each bite. sign me up!

so, i was determined to find a way to make this happen sans carb overload followed by major crash.

enter ‘zoodles.

zucchini + noodles = zoodles.

all you need is a special slicer. there’s something called the ‘veggetti’ slicer, but you can also use a mandoline or a spiral vegetable slicer. i was gifted the latter for my birthday and was so excited to put it to use.

chop

it comes with 3 different blades, which will give you 3 different outcomes. it’s the funniest little contraption if you ask me.

zucchini

but alas, out come beautiful noodles.

oodlesofzoodles

bowl full of zoodles!

zoodlesbowl

now onto the homemade pesto. this was the brain child of my dear sister who is living with me for a few weeks while she does a rotation for pa school. upon reading the ingredients in the pre-packaged one at traders joes, we decided to try our own. this one is walnut-based, admittedly because i had a whole bag of unused walnuts in my pantry.

combine walnuts with garlic, basil, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. now it takes a bit of eyeballing, but use the list in the ingredient section as your base. it’s delicious! nothing beats fresh basil.

pesto

next, you’ll want to sauté the onions, tomatoes, and spinach in a pan with a bit of olive oil. add in the ‘zoodles,’ and finally a bit of the pesto sauce. let simmer for about 5 minutes.

finally, you’ll place in a bowl and top with chicken {remember, it’s always optional!} and of course, more pesto.

finished

enjoy! hope this leaves you feeling as light and satisfied as it did me!

homemade pesto zucchini noodles aka ‘zoodles’
Recipe Type: dinner
Cuisine: spin on italian
Author: gina
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • zoodles:
  • 3 zucchinis
  • 1 cup mini heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 2 cups spinach
  • homemade pesto:
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1/3 olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups basil
  • juice of 1/2 medium lemon or 1 small lemon
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1-2 chicken breasts (optional)
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake chicken for 35 minutes (optional)
  2. slice zucchini using your special slicer
  3. chop tomatoes, onion, and prep spinach
  4. for homemade pesto combine all ingredients in food processor or vitamix: start with walnuts and garlic, and blend until smooth, then add olive oil, basil, and salt/pepper
  5. in sauté pan, sauté tomatoes, onions, and spinach in a little olive oil for 5 minutes. then add zucchini noodles. let warm. finally add 1-2 tablespoons of pesto and warm together.
  6. top with chicken and more pesto.

 

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