Last week, I wrote about starting my gardening endeavors in the comfort of my apartment. I had wanted to do it not only to pass the time and challenge myself to see if I could actually keep plants alive for more than a couple of days while utilizing the huge windows and abundance of natural light I have in my space- but I had also hoped to eventually begin growing my own fruits and vegetables for recipes to save a little money when food shopping and feel a sense of accomplishment as I got to enjoy and eat things that I had grown myself.
One of the recipes I’d be eager to whip up once I’ve mastered growing my own zucchini and squash is this quick, easy and healthier “zoodle” (zucchini noodles) dish that I always enjoy eating throughout the Spring and Summer. With homemade pesto and a little Parmesan- this is sure to satisfy a crowd without making everyone feel “too full” the way regular pasta can.
I used store-bought zucchini for this one- but it tastes just fine!
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- ⅓ cup pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 4 zucchini, cut into noodles
- Parmesan cheese curls, as needed for garnish
- Red-pepper flakes, as needed for garnish (optional)
WHAT YOU’LL DO:
MAKE THE PESTO: In a food processor or blender, pulse the basil, garlic, pine nuts and grated Parmesan until coarsely chopped.
With the food processor running, add the olive oil gradually and mix until the pesto is a thick paste. Add more olive oil as needed to adjust the consistency. Add salt and pepper.
MAKE THE ZOODLES: In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the zucchini noodles and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes more.
Add the pesto and toss until the noodles are well coated.
Serve warm, garnished with Parmesan curls and red-pepper flakes, if using, to taste.
My favorite thing about these zoodles- apart from how good they taste- is that I can eat a second (or third- no judgment) serving and still not get the “food baby” belly I would if I were loading up on carbs with regular linguine or angel hair. These are a delicious alternative that taste so great with any kind of sauce/garnishes you choose.
But I highly recommend the pesto- because it’s incredible!