Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Paleo Pesto Zucchini "Pasta"

I love alliterations. Paleo pesto pasta... dare I say you should eat this pronto? I got the idea for this dish from the blog Perry's Plate (even more alliteration, love it!, which has a lot of non-Paleo but family-friendly recipes.

When I was first getting to know the caveman, he joked that I seemed to like pesto so much I'd likely find a way to prepare it for dessert. While I haven't attempted such a feat, I do confess I have a huge weakness for the sauce. While most versions contain parmesan, I find that simply omitting the cheese makes a perfectly delicious, dairy-free sauce.

Please forgive that my measurements aren't exact, as I find pesto is something you can fiddle with a bit depending on what you have on hand. I added spinach to this version only because I had some on hand, and my package of basil had a few suspect leaves...

I intentionally left chunks of pine nut in the pesto for a little crunch!

In terms of the olive oil, I think the amount used depends on your preference. I wanted to allow this pesto to be a little thick and chunky, as I thought the texture would work nicely with the zucchini noodles. If you add *too* much oil I find pesto can quickly become something too closely resembling a dark green oil slick.

Paleo Pesto

2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup raw pine nuts
salt and pepper, to taste
one large bunch basil leaves (about a cup)
one large bunch baby spinach leaves
olive oil, up to 1 cup total

In a food processor, combine all ingredients but oil until roughly chopped. With machine running, gradually pour in oil until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning.

Once I had my pesto made, I followed the Perry's Plate recipe to the letter, except for the addition of about 1 cup of mushrooms.

I needed two utensils to really work the pesto into the vegetables

The caveman and I *loved* this dish. My somewhat chunky pesto and the crisp broccoli offered a nice texture contrast to the noodles. I did serve it up with a little freshly grated romano cheese on top, but this dish would taste delightful without as well.


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