ZUCCHINI NOODLES with SUNDRIED TOMATO AND BASIL PESTO - NO COOKING!

April 24, 2014  •  1 Comment

ZUCCHINI NOODLES with QUICK SUNDRIED TOMATO AND BASIL PESTO - NO COOKING! (DOESN'T IT LOOK LIKE PASTA?)

sundried tomato and basil pestosundried tomato and basil pesto

I do not like sundried tomatoes and yet I love this sauce.  As you can see, Izzy is looking to get a mouthful of this deliciousness. (she didn't, by the way).

The beauty of this dish is that there is no cooking.  I guarantee you wont miss the pasta.  In fact, I find the zucchini far preferable to pasta with this dish because it brings a sweetness and a brightness to a sauce that is otherwise dense and earthy.  By my taste buds’ standards, this sauce and the zucchini noodles are a perfect marriage.

THE SAUCE:

10 – 20 Sundried tomatoes

½ cup – 1 cup fresh basil leaves 

½ cup parmesan cheese (more, if you love cheese)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

20 capers (optional  – they add a note of saltiness)

1 – 2 cloves garlic

3  – 4 tablespoons pine nuts (you can substitute almonds or cashews if you like)

5 - 10 olives, either green, or calamata, your choice.

4 - 8 tablespoons heavy cream or milk or half and half or any other white milk–like liquid you desire (this is a new addition...  I made this without the cream or milk many times.  I just decided to try it.  If you don't want it, leave it out.  You'll love it either way - well, maybe you wont, actually.  Just because I love it doesn't mean you will).

½ a jalapeno pepper (optional – if you don't like spicy foods, leave this out.  The dish wont suffer in the slightest)

Pepper to taste

Water for thinning as needed

 

THE REST:

4 oz (or thereabout) Mozzarella cheese cut into 1/3 inch cubes. 

12 cherry tomatoes quartered

6 zucchini, spiralized with the thin noodle blade

 

 

Put all the ingredients EXCEPT the zucchini mozzarella and cherry tomatoes in the processing device of your choice (blender, ninja, food processor, vitamix, etc).  I usually put the sundried tomatoes, basil, and olive oil in first and blend until well mixed.  Then I add the parmesan cheese and blend some more.  Now’s about the time I add some of the cream (or milk) and add the garlic, capers, olives, jalapeno and I grind in some black pepper.  Blend until fairly smooth, but expect to still see the cheese and other ingredients in little bits. This Picture should help you with consistency:

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 You probably wont ever get this really perfectly smooth without adding tons more olive oil and I just don’t think you want to do that.  Granular smoothness is good enough.  This should be very very  thick.  I taste at this point and decide if I want more garlic or more saltiness (add more capers or olives if you want it saltier) or more jalapeno if I want more spice.  I might add a little water at a time just to get the sauce a bit more spreadable. 

 

When everything is as I like it, I either put it in a container to refrigerate or if we’re ready for dinner I put it on top of spiralized zucchini noodles and toss well. If my sauce is really thick I sometimes put on rubber gloves and massages it into the noodles. I top the platter of noodles with the quartered cherry tomatoes and the mozzarella cubes and toss again.

 

Happy Munching.

 

PS….  If you are wanting leftovers I suggest that instead of mixing everything together in a large bowl, you have everyone take their portion of zucchini and add the sauce individually.  Overnight the sauce soaked zucchini might get a bit too watery.

 

Note that my photo doesn’t show the cubed cheese or tomatoes….  At times I prefer the sauce alone without these chunks.

sundried and basil2sundried and basil2

 

 

 


Comments

1.stephanie(non-registered)
I can't wait to try this variation!
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