These are so good! And with these, you can eat an entire bowl of “pasta” and feel completely refreshed and guilt free! It took me several attempts to make a recipe for this that really worked well and tasted great. The biggest trick, I realized, is to dry out the zoodles as much as possible. Zucchini has an extremely high water content, so unless the zoodles are properly dried, the recipe will come out a bit soupy. Don’t let this discourage you though, it’s easy to dry them out. Here is what I do…
- 6 to 8 zucchinis, depending on size (this may seem like a lot, but when you spiralize them into noodles, 1 zucchini does not yield very much—keep in mind that you’ll be able to eat a much larger portion of raw zuchinni noodles than you could pasta.)
- ¾ cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- ½ cup sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
- ¼ cup capers
- 2 shredded carrots
For the pesto:
- Two cups of basil
- One cup of roasted salted cashews
- 3 to 4 cloves of garlic (depending on the size)
- The juice of one lemon
- Two tablespoons of olive oil (you can add more depending on desired consistency)
- A pinch of salt (don’t overdo it because of the salt in the cashews… You can always add more later)
- Half a teaspoon of ground black pepper
- Place all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and combined.
- Peel the raw zucchini and spiralize them.* (I use the Paderno 4 blade Spiralizer. It was $40, but it was a very good investment. You can make so many creative things with it and if you have young children, it’s a great way to get them excited about eating veggies because you can turn them into fun shapes. If you don’t have a spiralizer and don’t want to buy one, you can use a julienne peeler or cut the zucchini into very thin slices long ways and then cut each slice into thin strips once again.)
- Place the spiralized zucchini onto layered paper towels and allow the paper towels to absorb some of the water from the zucchini. After this step, I like to place the zoodles into a large plastic Ziploc back and refrigerate them for a few hours or overnight. The cold helps to dry them out even more.
- Once the zoodles are dried out a bit, gently toss with pesto, olives, sun dried tomatoes, and capers. Top with shredded carrots. If you find that the pesto is too thick, you can thin it out by stirring in a little bit more olive oil.
*Time for tots: Let your toddler watch you spiralize the zucchini—it looks really cool while it’s passing through the blade. I called my daughter into the kitchen to watch me use the spiralizer for the first time and ever since then she gets excited every time we use it. She now looks forward to whenever we make what she calls “pasta lettuce”.