Hello from home! After a fun 4th of July week on the east coast, I’m back in the comforts of my own home, which means I can cook! I made dinner last night for my family, and since we grow zucchini in our garden, at any given time during the summer we’ve always got a gigantic one (or few) to use up. Yesterday, I decided to make my own pasta out of zucchini!
I don’t have one of those fancy mandolin slicers, but I do have a peeler! So I just used the peeler to shave off long, wide zucchini strips. It worked quite well, and didn’t actually take that long. I was only able to use the zucchini until I reached the soft, seedy part in the middle, but if you use more normal size zucchini you probably won’t run into this problem.
I love being at home with access to our garden, because not only do we have lots of zucchini, but we also have lots of basil! For the pesto, I used walnuts instead of pinenuts, since pinenuts go stale easily and not everyone carries them. I also added a bit of garlic just for a little extra punch of flavor. Storebought pesto is all fine and good, but nothing beats homemade. I cooked the zucchini “noodles” for a bit, added the pesto, threw in some roasted peppers from the pantry, and this pesto pasta was done! I served this dish with a fresh summer salad and garlic bread. Yum!
Shaved Zucchini Pesto Pasta
3 large or 4 medium zucchini
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup roasted red peppers, drained (you could also use fresh red peppers, sundried tomatoes, or fresh tomatoes here)
Parmesan cheese, for sprinkling
2 (ish) cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
In a food processor, pulse together the pesto ingredients until well blended. Add more basil to taste, or olive oil for consistency.
For the pasta, slice the ends off the zucchini, stand upright, and use the peeler to shave off long strips of zucchini. Once you reach the soft, seeded part of the zucchini, stop shaving, as this part won’t yield good noodles.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Add the noodles and toss to coat with oil. Heat for about 5 minutes, stirring, then add the peppers and pesto. Toss to combine all ingredients and continue to cook until heated through, about 5-10 minutes. At this point the noodles should be soft. Cook less if you prefer crisper noodles, or you could even skip the cooking part entirely for a raw pasta salad, in which case you would serve chilled. If you choose to cook your noodles, serve warm. Garnish with Parmesan. Enjoy!