Zoodles – courgette (zucchini) noodles – with a homemade pesto sauce of basil, avocado and garlic are the perfect answer to your spaghetti cravings, when you don’t want to eat pasta. I love pasta. Sloppy in sauce, congealed in tomatoes and stringy cheese, crispy with thyme under the grill, stacked together towers of all of the above. But so many times I tuck into a spaghetti-macaroni-lasagne creation saying “I love pasta!” and end by groaning “I hate pasta”.
So, in the name of healthy, wholefoods and vegetable discovery, I’ve been experimenting with zoodle replacement therapy; from sweet potato mac n cheese to this recipe for a fragrant and green spaghetti pesto. In celebration of the end of summer I wanted to share this one first, before the baked, cheesy, spicy Autumn experiments really take hold.
I started out with a julienne peeler, which works well, but a lot of the middle of the vegetable is left unpeeled (it’s either that, or you lose a finger). Recently, I’ve been using a hand-operated spiraliser, which definitely cuts down on the waste, creates lovely long spaghetti-like zoodles, and gives your arm a work out, too.
- For the Zoodles:
- 2 courgettes
- 1 carrot
- For the sauce:
- 1 avocado
- 1 bunch of basil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 10 olives, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, roasted
- 2 tomatoes, roasted
- Pinch of chilli powder or smoked paprika
- Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- Prepare the roasted ingredients first. Slice the tomatoes into eight segments each and arrange on a sheet of parchment paper, on an oven tray. Sprinkle with the chilli flakes or paprika and cook for 25 minutes. Slice the root ends from the garlic cloves (without peeling them) and add these to the tomato tray and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool while you prepare the sauce.
- Zoodle the noodles! This takes about 10 minutes, and I usually do this while the tomatoes are roasting.
- To make the sauce, blend together the avocado, basil (stalks included), lemon juice and nutritional yeast.
- Peel the garlic cloves, slice them, and combine in a bowl with the zoodles, tomatoes, olives and sauce.
Serve with lemon-chilli sauteed broccoli and roasted chickpeas, which add a lovely crunchy topping.