Zucchini Linguini With Spinach + Basil Pesto

I love making my zucchini linguini !  It’s a great alternative to traditional pasta and it has the added benefit of being nutrient dense and kind to the digestive system. What I love about this dish is that you can enjoy zucchini linguini  raw or lightly heated through. The pesto slightly softens the zucchini as the aromatics penetrate right through and you end up with a glorious plate of deliciousness that is irresistible.  I love to serve mine simply with a grating of Parmesan and roasted pine nuts. For added protein, I sometimes add a lightly fried organic egg.

The secret to making pesto is having a gentle hand and using aromatics such as garlic and lemon with care. It’s best to start off with a little then add as you go – otherwise there’s no turning back. 1 clove of garlic is often sufficient otherwise you’ll overpower your masterpiece. 1 tablespoon of lemon or lime juice is also a good start then add a touch more to taste if you need it. A generous sprinkle of ground  black pepper and a little sea salt is all you need to make it great.

You can pretty much make linguini from most of the firmer vegetables such as zucchini, pumpkin, carrot, daikon radish and leek. I love zucchini best as it’s porous nature allows it to take on the wonderful flavours that you incorporate with it.  You need a good sturdy mandoline to make your linguini and just be mindful to take your time and not to rush this process.

What’s good about it:
Greens such as fresh parsley and basil are full of superfood goodness that is anti-inflammatory to the body. Parsley is rich in chemoprotective oils that can help neutralise carcinogens as well as chlorophyll that is the single most critical substance in plants that allows them to absorb light from the sun and convert that light into usable energy. Chlorophyll helps to nourish the digestive system, support detoxification and elimination and helps to alkalinise the body. Garlic and black pepper are anti-inflammatory and can stimulate digestion.

BASIL PESTO

2  bunches parsley, roughly chopped
2  bunches basil, roughly chopped
1 clove raw garlic
40 g roasted pine nuts
2 – 3  tablespoons lemon juice
Generous amount of ground black pepper
Generous pinch of sea salt
15 g Parmesan, grated  (optional)
4  tablespoons cold pressed olive oil

Combine the parsley, basil and garlic into a food processor or a high performance blender like a Vitamix. The dry jug works very well for this.
Process until the herbs have been roughly chopped.
Add the pine nuts, lemon juice, salt, pepper, Parmesan and olive oil.
Process again until your mixture forms a lovely green chunky paste.
Store in a glass jar for up to 1 week in the fridge.

MAKE YOUR ZUCCHINI LINQUINI

1kg zucchini
100 g baby spinach leaves
3 tablespoons basil pesto

Slice the zucchini into linguini using a mandoline.
Place into a large mixing bowl.
Add the pesto and lightly mix in making sure all the zucchini linguini is covered by the pesto. The zucchini will soften slightly and taste amazing.
Serve cold as a salad or:
Sauté in a pan if you want to devour this warm.
Heat a large pan over a medium heat.
Add half the zucchini (smaller batches work better) and toss through lightly with the spinach until warmed through.
Serve topped with fine grated Parmesan and a few roasted pine nuts then enjoy.
Alternatively top with your choice of inspiration:
Serves 4.

INSPIRATION:

Top with lightly fried organic egg.
Top with a luscious bolognese or meatballs.
Serve with my awesome Fish braised in Tomato.