I know we’ve all heard about the big zucchini noodle thing happening–they’re kind of having a moment–but for me, I’m always left craving something more. Which is why whenever I serve up zucchini noodles, I like to mix them in half and half style with real noodles. It’s a healthy way to truly satisfy that pasta craving and sneak in a few more veggies. I’ve paired these noodles with my favorite, crazy simple vegan pesto because something about eating a gigantic bowl of greens just feels good inside, but you can pair your zucchini noodle/real noodle bowl with just about any sauce for an amazing and indulgent feeling dish. I also tossed in a few sautéed veggies to really up the healthy factor. I promise, this version won’t leave you craving anything at all!
For the noodle base:
1 package spaghetti or fettuccini noodles
2 medium zucchini
Cook up a package of your favorite pasta following the instructions on the box. I like using real spaghetti or fettuccini because it blends really well with the zucchini noodle shape. Meanwhile, heat a pan over medium-high heat, add a little avocado oil, and toss in your spiraled zucchini noodles. I say to flash cook these, but that basically just means giving them a toss around in the pan for 2-3 minutes max. If you cook them too long, they become overly soft and soggy, and let’s be honest, no one likes a soggy noodle. Remove your noodles from the heat and toss them on in with your cooked and rinsed regular pasta. It helps to use your hands to really mix them up and fool yourself into thinking you’re eating all real noodles!
For the veggies:
1 bundle asparagus, woody parts removed
2 cups sliced Brussels sprouts
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 bundle broccolini, thicker stems removed
Heat a pan over medium with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss in your asparagus, Brussels sprouts and broccolini. Cook these guys for about 7-8 minutes, and add the cherry tomatoes for the last minute to heat them up. Add these to your pasta mixture.
For the pesto:
1/2 cup pine nuts
3-4 garlic cloves (roasted is best, but fresh is fine)
3 handfuls of fresh basil, rinsed
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup olive oil (you can add more if needed)
Combine all of your pesto ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. You can drizzle in more olive oil as you blend for a super rich and creamy consistency. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
Toss your pasta, zucchini noodles, sauteed veggies, and pesto together and indulge! I can’t wait for you guys to try this zucchini noodle trick, I think it changes the pasta game in a real way!
Lulus Blog recipes come from our fantastic food contributor, Christina Evert! Christina shares her delicious recipes and mouthwatering food photography with us twice a month. With a focus on vegetarian and pescatarian recipes, Christina shares her cooking adventures on her Instagram, @abuelitaeats, showing how easy and tasty it can be to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet via her simple yet scrumptious meals and snacks. Be sure to follow her Instagram for even more incredible food content and check back every other week for a new recipe from Christina on the Lulus Blog! xo