Monday, June 23, 2014

Zucchini Pasta with Zesty-Mint Pesto

Let’s make a fresh, light and grain-free alternative to ordinary pasta.  A spiralizer is a great tool for anyone who loves pasta, but is looking replace refined carbs with nutrient-rich veggies.  This kitchen gadget creates curlicue spaghetti noodles from zucchini and other veggies.  If you’re a vegetarian, a vegan, or just looking to add more veggies to your diet, this gadget will become your best friend.  This little tool made me fall in love with pasta all over again and I really couldn’t have been bothered to have pasta for quite a long time now.  My husband and I recommend using the GEFU Spirelli Spiral Slicer to shape the zucchini into long spaghetti shapes and then pair it with a simple homemade tomato sauce and freshly made pesto.  I particularly enjoy a good amount of fresh mint, lemon juice and zest in the pesto.  The combination of the marinara and the freshness of the pesto create such a sprightly dressing for the veggie spaghetti—it’s lovely!

ZucchiniPasta

This recipe is entirely gluten and dairy-free.  I encourage you to keep this recipe as raw as you like, but feel free to alter the tomato sauce to your preference and remember that the zucchini pasta also works well sautéed or streamed if you’re looking for a warm dish.  I know how it is: On a hot summer day the last thing you’re looking to eat is a steaming heap of pasta.  But not all summer days are sunny and when you’re looking for something comforting on a miserable, wet day the last thing you want is a SALAD!
Let me know how you like my zesty-mint pesto if you have the chance to try out the recipe.
 
Pasta
  • 3-4 Zucchini
  • 8 oz. Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 fresh Lemon (2 Tbsp. juice and 1 tsp. zest)
  • 1/2 cup fresh Mint
  • 1/4  cup fresh Basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parsley
  • 5 Tbsp. Olive Oil (Blood-Orange Olive Oil)
  • Salt and Pepper;  to taste

Preparations:
  • Wash and clean all vegetables.
  • Shape the zucchinis into pasta using a spiralizer.  I recommend GEFU Spirelli Spiral Slicer, which has been working great for us.  It is a sturdy model and extremely user-friendly.  It basically works like a pencil-sharpener.
  • After shaping the zucchinis, place them into a platter or bowl of your choice and set them aside.
  • Zest and juice the lemon.
  • In a food processor, combine basil, mint, parsley, lemon juice and lemon zest;  process until finely chopped.
  • With the machine still running, gradually pour the oil through the feed-tube.  Process until smooth.  Make sure to taste the finished pesto and if necessary adjust the flavor by adding salt, pepper or a spritz more lemon juice.
  • Options: One, set pesto aside and plate below the pasta when you serve the dish (this less messy version is shown in the picture above).  Or, option two, pour over the zucchini pasta and let the noodles marinate in the pesto. 
  • For the marinara, preheat the oven to 350° F and roast 1/3 of the tomatoes in the the oven (alternatively, you can use sundried tomatoes or better yet,  sun dry your own tomatoes and achieve a similar flavor). 
  • Blend the roasted tomatoes in a food-processor and also add the remaining fresh cherry tomatoes.  If you prefer your marinara chunkier, simply cut the tomatoes in half and fold them into the roasted and blended marinara sauce.
  • When it’s time to eat, heap the zucchini pasta onto a plate and pour the tomato sauce over top.  When eating, you want to twirl your fork to combine both sauces—together they are the perfect dressing!

SignatureEnd
       Nina & Spencer

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