There’s nothing like finishing off the day with a big steaming bowl of pasta and pesto. This traditional combination has been one of my favourites for a long time now – basically since I moved out of home and had to start cooking for myself.
In my first year of university, I think I ate pesto pasta at least 3 times a week, month in, month out, for the entire year. Surprisingly, I wasn’t even sick of the dish by the time I had to move home for summer.
My love affair with pesto pasta (and its consequences) didn’t end there. After moving home, I decided to assess the damage of making my own food choices for the first time in my life, by hopping on the scales for the first time in a long time. It was bad. It was SO bad.
In all honesty, the copious amounts of alcohol and lack of exercise may have also contributed. But nevertheless, pesto pasta was then moved to my list of “sometimes foods.”
Fast forward a few years (and a lot of lifestyle changes). Last night I had a strange craving for pesto pasta. The way I eat now is very different in comparison to my first year out of home, so I thought I’d put a healthy twist on my old favourite. Here’s my the recipe for my new favourite creamy pesto zoodles.
- Olive spray oil
- tspn crushed garlic (2 cloves)
- 1 onion diced
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into 2cm cubes
- 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 medium-sized zucchinis, spiralized into noodles
- 1 avocado
- 1 Tbsp EVOO
- 1/2 tspn crushed garlic
- 2 Tbsp pine nuts
- 1.5 cup fresh basil leaves
- Juice from half a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Spray large pan with oil and turn to medium-high heat.
- Fry garlic and onion until fragrant.
- Add chicken and brown.
- Turn heat down to medium and add cherry tomatoes.
- Cook until tomatoes are tender and begin to lose their shape.
- Meanwhile, add all pesto ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Do a pesto taste test, does it need more salt or lemon juice?
- Add pesto to the pan and stir until chicken mixture is evenly coated.
- Stir in zoodles and cook for a few minutes until tender.
- Optionally, serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and pine nuts.
- If you're meal prepping this recipe, consider storing the zoodles and pesto chicken mixture separately and combine just before reheating.
- Zoodles not your thing? Consider starting with half spaghetti pasta and half zoodles.