Being the gluten-avoiding person that I am, it is on a very rare occasion that I will eat pasta. Although I do enjoy pasta, my favourite part of the dish is actually the sauce. For me, that is the real flavour – the pasta itself is just the base on which it sits (I apply this also to cheese platters – the crackers are generally only required as a mechanism to put the cheese on – they don’t add anything to the flavour of the cheese itself).
With this in mind, I was delighted a while ago when I first came across the concept of vegetable pasta. Instead of the usual wheat variety, this ‘pasta’ is actually made from grated or finely sliced vegetables that are heated in a pan or slightly steamed (not boiled like traditional pasta) and served with popular pasta sauces.
There are several gadgets available on the market that you can use to turn your vegetables into pasta (check out Spirooli slicer as one example). In failing that, you can simply cut up your vegetables very finely – still tastes the same! Popular vegetables include zucchini, beets, cucumbers, yellow squash and sweet potatoes.
This recipe is both extremely healthy and easy to make:
Zucchini ‘pasta’ with kale pesto, roasted tomatoes and artichokes
- 1 ½ cups kale
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- handful of cashews
- 1 clove of garlic
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (from the health food shop)
- sea salt and pepper to taste
Combine the kale, cashews, nutritional yeast, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Slowly add in the olive oil until you reach your desired consistency. Season to taste.
Spiral as much zucchini for noodles as you like, depending on how many people you’re serving. One zucchini is usually good for a plate of noodles.
Coat the zucchini noodles with pesto and add tomatoes, artichokes or any other veggies you like.