I won’t lie to you, making zucchini pasta with the spiral cutter is a task that requires patience (a virtue that I lack) and probably one or two less than spectacular outcomes. By that I mean overcooked zucchini that will lay as a limp mass on the plate and make you wonder if take-out sushi was that bad an idea after all. If you want to see the gadget I used in action (by someone who is a lot better than me at handling it), take a look at this youtube video.
Once you master the spiral cutter and how to deal with the zucchini strands, you will be on your way to a satisfying, flavorful and unique dish. After butchering a few Cucurbita pepo, I was rewarded with a beautiful bowl of veggie strands.
ZUCCHINI PASTA WITH CILANTRO-CASHEW PESTO
(adapted from Martyna’s recipe at Wholesome Cook)
for the pesto:
2 bunches fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 Serrano chile, seeded and minced
¼ cup raw cashews
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grape seed oil
½ tsp sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper to taste
zest of 1/2 lemon
squeeze of lemon juice
for the “pasta”:
enough zucchini to make a large bowl of strands
(save the collateral damaged ones for veggie stock, stir-fries, soups)
Make the pesto by adding the cilantro, chile, cashews, and cheese to the bowl of a food processor. Process until a paste forms. Add grape seed oil until you achieve a consistency you like. I tend to add a lot less oil than most recipes call for. Adjust to your taste. Process until smooth, season with salt, pepper, the lemon zest, and juice. Process again. Reserve.
Cook the zucchini by placing the strands in boiling water for 20 seconds, drain well, incorporate with the pesto and serve. Alternatively, you stir-fry the zucchini quickly in a small amount of olive oil, then mix with the pesto.
Sprinkle roasted cashews, and…
to print the recipe, click here
My beloved mini-food processor did a great job on the pesto…
Comments: On my first attempt at making zucchini “pasta”, I overcooked the strands, which is very easy to do. The taste was still pretty good, but the poor zucchini looked almost gray. No bueno. This time, the 20-second blanching worked much better. I might even cut the cooking shorter next time. You can sauce this dish any way you like, including a marinara sauce, which was on our menu the following week, by the way. I still need to master the spiral cutter better, our kitchen looked like a crime scene when I was done, and zucchini bits were found on my hair later that evening. That’s some wild cooking prep. 😉
For those interested in gluten-free side dishes, or low carb pasta-like concoctions, this recipe fits the bill nicely. For those who simply enjoy trying a new preparation for the under-appreciated zucchini, the same applies.
A little shredded Asiago to gild the lily…
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22 thoughts on “ZUCCHINI PASTA WITH CILANTRO-CASHEW PESTO”
Sally, could you also use this as a dip for vegetables? Thanks,
Sent from my iPad
I did not see your comment until now, I am so sorry! yes, I think this would go great with veggies! Go for it!
We just did a sun-dried tomato pesto that would work will here too. Those zucchini are a work of art – looks great!
Hummmmmm…. sun-dried tomato pesto, now that would look amazing, more contrasting colors!
The pesto would almost make me forget that I was eating pasta made from veggies … almost. 🙂
Isn’t that true? 😉
this looks delish!! It’s so bright and green too… makes me want warmer weather and not this heap of snow in our yard!
You said it all.. it’s a call for spring, alright!
My best friend got a spiral cutter last month and she has been teasing me with all kinds of beautiful dishes. She loves the zucchini pasta the most as well 🙂
I love the idea of a gluten free, healthier pasta but I am still hesitant about buying yet another kitchen gadget or toy as my husband likes to call them 🙂
I have to admit that I laughed about the zucchini crime scene. You reminded me of the first time I used my pasta machine..a total messy disaster!
Actually, Sawsan, you can do the same type of “noodles” using other slicers – if you go on Wholesome Cook site, where I got the pesto recipe from, you can see she used a different method
I can imagine it’s hard to bring one more cooking toy home – I suffer from the same problem, guilty feelings, but sometimes it’s soooo hard to resist!
Thank you! It was pretty tasty….
I bought a spiralizer but I haven’t worked up the courage to try it yet! But this just might convince me.
I know how you feel, this one has been hiding for a long time – I’ve used it a few times but only now feel a little more confident to grab it and go for it. Take a deep breath, and….. tell me all about it later, ok? 😉
Great recipe, good tips!
I used to sell those spiral cutters when I had the cookware store. Your recipe is great, perfect timing, my zucchini are just coming on. : )
Liz, if I had a cookware store, I would probably make ZERO PROFIT… 🙂
come to think of it, a clothing store would not have a different outcome either (sigh)
This sounds like the best pesto, Sally! I was attracted by the title, then by the ingredients. I love cilantro, cashews, lemon.
This looks delicious Sally! And it’s something new for us to try on our mostly veggie diet. 🙂 I bet even Mr. N would like this one as he’s a big, big fan of any kind of pesto. Miss A….you just never know. It depends on the way the wind is blowing that day. I’ll have to look into a spiral cutter at some point; although I suffer from a similar lack of patience. 😉 It could get ugly, but perhaps it’s worth it. I have enjoyed a zucchini pasta before and it was very good. Hope all is well. Hugs to you!
This does look tasty. I love what you do with pesto.
Not sure I have the patience for the zucchini part of this recipe, but I am TOTALLY making the pesto!