Zucchini Pappardelle with Pesto

Zucchini pappardelle is a great pasta substitute, and combined with a fresh, tangy pesto, you hardly realize that you’re not eating any grains. I gave my spiralizer a short vacation and made zucchini ribbon “noodles” for this light summer dish. A wide vegetable peeler or a mandolin both work to create these pappardelle style noodles. To prevent the zucchini from become watery, place it in a colander and lightly salt it to withdraw some of the water. After coating the zucchini with olive oil you can sauté them on the stove top or bake in the oven. Enjoy!

Zucchini Pesto

Spinach Basil Pesto 

  • 11/2 cups fresh spinach leaves, tightly packed
  • 3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Juice from half of a lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

Zucchini Noodles 

  • 3-4 large yellow or green zucchini
  • Kosher salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Optional garnishes: grated lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, shaved Parmesan cheese

Combine the spinach, basil, garlic, and toasted pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth, scraping down the bowl as necessary. With the motor running, drizzle the olive oil through the feed tube in a slow and steady stream. Scrape down the bowl and add the parmesan cheese, pulse again to combine. Season with salt and pepper and add the lemon juice, stirring to combine. Set aside the pesto while you make the noodles. Pesto freezes well, just hold off on adding the cheese until you’re ready to use it. For individual servings, freeze the pesto in ice cube trays. Pesto will keep frozen for up to 3 months.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Using a wide peeler or a mandolin, slice the zucchini in long 1/8 inch-thick strips. Place the zucchini noodles in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to withdraw the moisture. Drizzle the zucchini with a bit of olive oil and toss to coat the noodles. Spread the noodles on a sheet tray or roasting pan in a single layer. Bake the noodles for 10-12 minutes or until they begin to soften and release more water. Remove the tray from the oven. Toss the zucchini with the pesto and garnish with shaved Parmesan, lemon zest and more lemon juice. Serves 4.

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