Pappardelle shaped “noodles” made with zucchini are a great pasta substitute, and combined with a fresh, tangy pesto you would hardly realize that you’re not eating grains. I gave my spiralizer a short vacation and made zucchini ribbon “noodles” for this light dish. A wide vegetable peeler or a mandolin both work to create these pappardelle style noodles. To prevent the zucchini from become watery, place the ribbons in a colander and lightly salt. Let the ribbons sit for about 15 minutes to withdraw some of the water. Coat the zucchini with olive oil and give the ribbons a quick sauté on the stove top or even easier, bake them in the oven. Enjoy!
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. 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 15 minutes to withdraw the moisture. Drizzle the zucchini with the 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.
While the zucchini is baking make the pesto. Combine the spinach, basil, garlic and 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. (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.)
Toss the zucchini slices with the pesto and garnish with lemon zest, more lemon juice and parmesan cheese.