Whether you’re choosing to avoid dairy and grains to lose weight or because of intolerances; this pesto “pasta” dish will fulfill those decadent Italian meal cravings.
I’ve been developing this pesto recipe, based on my dad’s recipe from my childhood, for the last 3 or 4 years. His preferred method used toasted pine nuts, but I’ve perfected the flavors by using my own secret ingredient that gives this pesto a unique nutty taste, and swapping out the usual parmesan cheese for a dairy free alternative.
1½ cups of basil leaves
1 cup of baby spinach
3/4 cup of shelled pistachios (the secret ingredient!)
2 heaping tbsps of nutritional yeast (gives your pesto that cheesy flavor without the parmesan)
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of sea salt
1/4 tsp of black pepper
1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (you can use a bit more or less depending on if you want your pesto thick or thin)
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend to your preferred consistency. If you like your pesto chunky, just pulse the food processor. However, these ingredients lend themselves to a really smooth texture if you blend for a few minutes and then scrape the sides.
I won’t lie and say I came up with the perfect zoodle method, because I believe in giving credit where credit is due. My favorite way to make them was developed by Danielle at Against all Grain. There are lots of methods out there for making zucchini noodles, but this particular one is the closest texture I’ve gotten to pasta noodles, and I much prefer the taste and texture of these to spaghetti squash.
Once you’ve got your pesto and zoodles ready, toss them both in a pan on medium heat, stirring regularly, to evenly coat your zoodles with the sauce and warm them up to your desired temperature. Be sure to keep it all moving so it doesn’t burn.
Depending on your stance on meat consumption, you can also add an Italian sausage of your choosing for a really hearty yet low- carb, meal.