This is a simple and delicious meal, perfect for summer. No one in my family even noticed the zucchini "noodles".
Zucchini Noodles with Pesto
2 cups tightly packed basil leaves, washed and dried well
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 medium zucchini, trimmed (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound dried spaghetti or other long noodles
Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
First, make the pesto. Put the basil leaves in a large heavy-duty ziplock plastic bag. Press all the air from the bag, and seal carefully. Put the bag on the countertop or floor and, using a rolling pin, pound the bag until all the leaves are bruised.
Put the pounded basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process to a smooth creamy consistency, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, and stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano. Set aside.
Put a large pot of salted water over high heat. While the water heats, prepare zucchini. Using a mandoline slicer fitted with julienne blade, carefully slice the zucchini into long skinny noodles, each the width of a strand of spaghetti.
Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini "noodles" and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not mushy, 5 to 8 minutes.
When the pot of water boils, drop in the spaghetti. Cook until al dente. Using a pair of long handled tongs scoop the pasta directly from the pot into the skillet of cooked zucchini. Add 1/2 cup of the pesto and toss the mixture well to ensure that each noodle-zucchini and spaghetti alike-has a thin, even coat of sauce. Serve immediately, with additional salt and lots of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Recipe (slightly shortened) from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg