I know I’m a little late to the picnic. By now many of you own a Spiralizer, but pasta has always been my go-to dish. I never much thought about making noodles from zucchini. But a couple of cranks of a Spiralizer handle made me a believer.
I’ve had more fun in the kitchen, spiralizing cukes, potatoes, apples, carrots and anything else I have in my crisper. But the zoodles are my favorite. Especially with my new favorite pesto.
This recipe, courtesy of Chef Lisa Brisch, takes pesto to a whole new level with the addition of cherry tomatoes and capers. Whether it’s zoodles or noodles, you’re going to love this dish. Never would I turn on my Italian roots, but from now on, it’s oodles of zoodles for me.
Tomato pesto pasta with zoodles or noodles
(Recipe adapted from Lisa Brisch, Chef at Sweet Basil Gourmetware & Cooking School)
½ cup toasted almonds
½ cup packed fresh parsley
2 cups packed fresh basil
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1 large garlic clove
1 tablespoon drained and rinsed capers
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb pasta OR
1 lb zucchini for Zoodles with Spiralizer (About 2-3 large zucchini)
Olive oil for pan.
In a small skillet, toast almonds over medium heat, stirring frequently, until pale golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Cool almonds to room temperature.
In a food processor or blender, pulse cooled almonds until finely chopped. Add basil, parsley, tomatoes, cheese, garlic, capers, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and lemon juice. With machine running, add oil in steady stream until emulsified. For the noodles: If using pasta, cook according to package directions. Just before draining, reserve ½ cup of pasta water. Drain pasta (do not rinse unless you want a cold pasta salad). Transfer to a large bowl. Pour pesto over pasta, using tongs to toss the mixture together. Add pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pesto. Serve, sprinkling with extra parmesan.
4. If using squash, make the zucchini noodles by cutting off the ends from the squash then carefully running them down the blade of a mandolin fitted with the julienne attachment. (The blade should be set at 1/8-inch thick). Alternately, you can use a spiralizer to make the zucchini noodles.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the squash noodles and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, tossing constantly with tongs, for about 3 minutes just until the zucchini begins to wilt. (Do not overcook the zucchini noodles.)
Add enough pesto to completely coat the noodles. Toss gently.
Watch my how-to video: jandatri.com/recipe/tomato-pesto-pasta-with-zoodles-or-noodles/