Trust me, you’re going to feel supremely virtuous when you sit down to this Zucchini ‘Pasta’ with Basil & Cashew Pesto. Made very simply out of fresh zucchini (courgette), basil, raw cashew nuts and natural flavourings like lemon and garlic, it’s truly nutritious.
You’ll need a spiralizer for this recipe. Don’t worry if you don’t have one of the fancy varieties – mine is a very simple, cheap version which looks rather like a pencil sharpener. If you’re not convinced about buying one though, you can always grate the zucchini, or peel it with a vegetable peeler (discarding the seed interior) and then slice into thin strips.
Just so you know, you don’t really need to follow the ingredient amounts precisely. I just throw in a dash of this and a dash of that and check the consistency and taste at the end. I suggest you do the same, as each of the ingredients pack quite a punch in terms of flavour and your taste preferences may very well be different to mine. For instance, I love lots of basil and cashews and not so much lemon juice, preferring a less tangy, more mild flavour.
You can also add other things to your ‘pasta’, like sliced olives, cherry tomatoes, chicken, or whatever. I added flaked cooked salmon to mine the other day, which was divine. Oh, and by the way, you can replace the basil in the pesto if you like – coriander (cilantro) or baby spinach would be great alternatives. Enjoy!
ZUCCHINI ‘PASTA’ WITH BASIL & CASHEW PESTO
- 2 cups packed fresh basil
- 1/3-1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (savoury yeast) – adds a ‘cheesy’ flavour
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste
- 1/4 cup quality olive oil, plus extra as needed
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 large unpeeled zucchinis (courgettes)
- In a food processor, add all the ingredients (except the zucchini) and process until smooth and well combined. The pesto should be like a moist paste (i.e. not runny, and not too thick). Adjust as needed – if the mixture is too thick, add more olive oil; if it’s too runny, add extra cashews or basil. Check for seasoning and adjust if needed. Set aside.
- Cut off the ends of the zucchini and, using a spiralizer process into ‘noodles’. Alternatively, you can grate the zucchini, or peel the sides of the zucchini all the way around, going down to the seedy interior (which you discard), then slice each peel thinly into strips.
- Put the ‘noodles’ into a large bowl. Add as much of the pesto to the ‘noodles’ to coat (if you have left-over pesto, store it in the fridge covered and enjoy the next day on crackers) and toss with two forks to combine. Serve immediately.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting