Zucchini Fettuccine & Pesto (Italy)

Zucchini Fettuccine & Pesto (Italy)

First of the Fit Italy Series is a classic but a goodie - Pesto Fettuccine. Traditionally, this dish would be loaded with pasta, cheese and olive oil (all the lovely items of Italy!) This recipe keeps the core of traditional pesto but brings it down to a much less indulgent level; the cheese is just a tiny amount (you can even remove) and the addition of the coconut water takes away the need for so much oil. 

We also replace pasta with courgette/zucchini noodles for a similar texture but much higher nutrient to caloric value (a.k.a. it's better for you AND just happens to be lower in calories.) Just think...if you split this little dish, you're getting 2.5 zucchinis + a handful of greens and nuts EACH...and it tastes pretty good too! 

Serves 2. 

Ingredients

  • 5 zucchini/courgettes (enough for 2 people or 1 hungry one)
  • 1 cup of macadamia nuts 
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 handful of baby spinach 
  • 1 small handful of cilantro/coriander 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1/4 cup coconut water (optional - can use more oil instead)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 3 to 4 small garlic cloves 
  • Salt & Pepper for seasoning of pesto  

Steps - Pesto 

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender (except for the zucchini of course.) Blend until smooth. You can add in more salt or paper as needed and also more coconut water if the mixture is too dry. Ideally, you want a nutty yet creamy texture that will spread easily.

 

Steps - Noodles 

Use a potato peeler to peel off the outer layer of the zucchini. Tip: keep the stem on as will help for this next part - continue to peel off thin layers from the zucchini until the vegetable breaks apart.

Once you've finished all five, stack the thin layers on top of each other and cut in half. This will give you a truer fettuccine noodle shape; this step is optional. 

Once you're happy with your noodles, get ready to blanch them (a very good cooking skill to learn; it helps to preserve flavor, texture & color.) Begin by boiling a pan of cool water. Once the water boils, drop in noodles and "scald" them for 1 minute. Next, remove and immediately place them in a strainer under cold water for 30 seconds to a minute. This will halt the cooking process. 

Finally, heat coconut oil in a large skilled over a medium temperature. Once pan is warm and oil melted, spread your noodles around the pan to evenly distribute the heat. Use tongs to help turn them. If you want the "al dente" firmness of traditional pasta, take them out after 3 minutes. (Avoid cooking for more than 5 minutes; zucchini releases water as it cooks, the longer you cook, the more potential for a soggy mess.)

Your noodles will just need a quick drain in the strainer and then you can mix them in your pesto sauce and plate them. Get ready for a taste that should be naughty...but isn't!!! 



Would love to hear your comments! (Emails will not be published or used.)