Zucchini noodles, brown rice pasta, pesto, plus a red pepper and a few pantry staples can cobble together a beautiful little pasta dish. This recipe is packed with vegetables (yay nutrients in cold season!) and flavor, plus it is gluten free and I love how simple it is. A bowl of pasta on a January night makes me so happy.
I have started buying spiralized vegetables when I grocery shop and they are a huge time saver with two little ones, having a prepped vegetable ready to go. We are actually eating more vegetables (in pastas or rice bowls) because of it.
Okay, back to the recipe! I love to make it with red pepper and zucchini, but you could also use baby spinach or swiss chard instead of zucchini noodles; or mushrooms instead of red pepper, just follow the recipe and sub in those veggies. I use brown rice pasta but you could use any type of pasta you like. I love using fusilli or spaghetti because it curls and blends so beautifully with the spiralized zucchini.
To estimate the amount of pasta here is a great trick, if the recipe calls for 200 grams of pasta, just look at the grams listed on the package when you open it and eyeball it. For example, my pasta box said 450 grams so I knew 200 grams would be approximately half of the package. Hope you enjoy the recipe, send me a little note on Insta or in the comments if you make it. Recipe serves four generous portions. Happy winter cooking!
300-400 grams zucchini noodles (spiralized zucchini)
1 red pepper chopped
200 grams of your favourite pasta (I use brown rice spaghetti)
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 heaping tbsp pesto (I use storebought)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup crumbled goat feta (or parmesan) for topping
Fill a large pot of water to boil, salt well and cook pasta according to package directions. Heat oil in a large skillet/frying pan. Add garlic and cook for a minute until fragrant. Add red pepper and cook until pepper softens slightly. Add the zucchini noodles to pan (be sure to NOT include the liquid from them, it makes the sauce watery) and generously add salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables for ten minutes.
Stir in the pesto and balsamic vinegar being sure to scrape up everything in the bottom of the pan and sides. This will create the sauce for the pasta. Add the cooked pasta to the pan and toss to combine. I have a large frying pan that can hold all the pasta. If yours is too small put the pasta back into the empty pot you cooked it in, and pour the pesto and vegetable mixture over it. Use tongs to combine the pasta with the pesto. I like to add some of the cheese now so it melts a little bit. Taste for salt and pepper. I usually add a little bit near the end. Serve with extra cheese sprinkled on top.