One of my newest obsessions are vegetables and fruits that I can turn into amazing noodles via my new spiralizer. For this recipe, you can really use whatever kind of noodles you would like whether its zoodles (zucchini noodles), rice noodles, or regular spaghetti. Get as creative as you want.
I was looking for a filling Italian style pasta dish without feeling overfilled. I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t admit that pesto isn’t exactly a low calorie sauce, but it is delicious and contains healthy fats. I decided to add an element of “healthy” by adding Kale to the recipe. Kale is great for digestions and is high in fiber. It also is very low in calories and is packed with nutrients, vitamins, folate, and magnesium.
Instead of using rice noodles or regular spaghetti, I decided to make a large serving of zoodles. I trimmed the ends of two full sized zucchinis and used my spiralizer (shredder blade for spaghetti size noodles). I like to leave the skin of the zucchini on to add a little extra fiber as well as keep the pretty bright green color.
Once the zoodles are made, I like to put them in a colander with a paper towel on top to absorb any extra liquid out of the zoodles. No need to squeeze water out— just let the paper towel absorb whatever it picks up.
Making Kale Pesto sauce is incredibly easy and quick. Add all the ingredients (3 cups packed chopped kale leaves, 3/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, salt, olive oil, pine nuts, minced or chopped garlic, and Parmesan cheese into a food processor and blend for a few minutes. I blended the pesto mixture until it was almost creamy smooth, but feel free to blend it to your liking.
I chose the warm option.
First, heat up a saucepan, and once it was warm, add half a cup of halved grape tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for about a minute and then add 1/2 a cup of pesto. Heat the pesto for about 1-2 minutes and immediately turn off the stovetop. Add the zoodles to the warm pesto and toss to coat the zucchinis all the way. The heated pesto will naturally warm up the zoodles to make them Al Dente. In order to avoid the pasta dish getting too watery (zucchinis are 95% water), do not try to cook the zoodles.
Kale Pesto Zoodles
For the Kale Pesto:
3 cups packed chopped kale leaves
3/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts (raw or toasted)
5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped or minced
3 ounces/2/3 cups Parmesan cheese
For Zoodles (zucchini noodles)
2 medium zucchini
1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
- Use a spiralizer or vegetable peeler to make zucchini noodles (shredded blade or blade C)
- Set zoodles aside and place in a colander with a paper towel on top to absorb any extra liquid out of the zoodles.
Kale Pesto Sauce
- Add kale, basil, salt, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and Parmesan cheese into food processor
- Blend for 2 minutes
- Use a spatula to clean the sides of the food processor
- Blend for another 1-2 minutes or until the pesto is smooth.
- Place zoodles in a large bowl
- Toss with about 1/2 cup of pesto or until the zoodles are coated to your liking.
- Add grape tomatoes and serve
- Heat saucepan on Med-Low
- Add grape tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.
- Add 1/2 a cup of pesto to tomatoes
- Heat the pesto for 1-2 minutes or until mixture is warm
- Turn off heat and remove from the stove.
- Add zoodles to pesto and toss to coat the zucchinis all the way.
Note– The heated pesto will naturally warm up the zoodles to make them Al Dente. In order to avoid the pasta dish getting too watery (zucchinis are 95% water), do not try to overcook the zoodles.