Zucchini Pesto Pasta
Is there anything better than twirling delicious pasta around your fork AND eating veggies at the same time. I feel like I'm tricking myself into being healthy when I eat zucchini noodles, but I eat them cause they're awesome. They're miles ahead of any gluten free pasta I've ever tried and better than cheap store-bought dried spaghetti.
I'm not going to lie, they're not better than fresh, homemade pasta. Nope, nothing beats that. But unless you have time to dust off your pasta maker I'd suggest grabbing your julienne peeler.
You could use a mandolin for this too, but I find a julienne peeler works best. If you don't have one I would really recommend buying one. They're inexpensive and handy to have around.
The pesto is made with both basil and kale. There's some serious veggie overload happening here.
→sidebar← is it possible to have too many veggies in your diet? Seriously, what do you think?
I'm going with the more the better. Crossing my fingers that I'm right cause unless you've avoided your greens all day this dinner could easily throw the regular person over the 7-8 veggies per day recommendation.
Back to these zucchini noodles. Or zucchini pasta. What do you call them? I've even heard them referred to as zoodles, but that makes me think of some sort of bland and boring kid's food. I guess it would be a good name if you're trying to trick your kids into eating their veggies but I'll stick with noodles or pasta.
So what do they taste like?
Honestly, not much. Which is good! Their neutral flavour makes them versatile for lots of different sauces. They have a bit of a crunch, but it's not over powering. If you find they're a little too crunchy for you to start with just let the sauce sit on them for a little longer and they'll soften some more.
Why do you put salt on them?
Salt helps to draw the water out of vegetables making them softer. The process is called maceration and it works to make the zucchini noodles pliable and spaghetti-like.
Are they cold?
Yes and no. If you put a hot sauce on them the sauce will warm them up. With this pesto you can either serve it as a cold pasta dish or warm it gently on the stovetop. I like it both ways but prefer it hot in the winter.
Can I cut them with a knife?
If you have some mad ninja knife skills! Failing that I'd recommend buying a julienne peeler.
Is it not amazing that a vegetable has the power to wind itself around your fork like this? It's seriously one of the best actors out there.
You guys, I just can't get over how Christmasy this looks! I had planned to share this recipe with you in the new year but after I uploaded the pics to my laptop all I could think of was presents, decorated trees and mistletoe. Have you ever seen so much green, red and snowy white on one plate before. It's almost ridiculous. I swear to you I didn't plan it that way.
Now, go grab your peeler and a zucchini and make this happen!
If you make this Zucchini Pasta with Kale Pesto Pistachios and Pomegranate, make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create.
Zucchini Pesto Pasta Recipe
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- 4 medium zucchini, julienned with a julienne peeler
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
- 1 medium pomegranate, seeded
- 3 stalks kale, stem and inner rib removed
- ⅓ cup EACH: olive oil, basil, pistachios, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese, or sub nutritional yeast to keep it vegan
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- Heat the oil in a large, non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini noodles and sprinkle with salt. Cook, tossing the noodles, for 2 minutes, or until they are soft and twirlable.4 medium zucchini, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Place all of the ingredients for the pesto into a blender and blend until it is very smooth.3 stalks kale, ⅓ cup EACH: olive oil, basil, pistachios, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese, 2 cloves garlic, ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- Pour the pesto over the noodles and toss well. Plate the noodles and then serve them topped with pistachios and pomegranate seeds.1 medium pomegranate, ½ cup pistachios