In a few weeks, Jack and I are headed to Rome where we will unapologetically eat gelato and pasta every day. We’ll tell ourselves we’re “walking it off,” and that “walk” will most definitely be on our way to the next meal. Until then, I’m making an effort to lighten things up. Conveniently, zucchini is in season so “zoodles” make for a fun vegetable-focused spin on regular pasta…
First off – you don’t need to go out and buy a spiralizer to make these. If you’re going to invest in a gadget, I highly recommend the julienne peeler because it’s inexpensive, works great, and is small enough to fit in your utensil drawer. But if you really want curly noodles (and you have an extra shelf to spare), spring for the spiralizer. I have both for no good reason at all.
This recipe is pretty simple – zucchini, tomatoes, and olive oil. I made a lemony sort-of-ricotta out of sunflower seeds and macadamia nuts. It’s delicious to serve on the side and scoop onto the noodles as you like. If you have extra, store it in the fridge over night and slather it on toast the next morning.
zucchini noodles & lemon "ricotta"
- 2-3 large zucchini
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- olive oil, for drizzling
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- hemp seeds & microgreens, for garnish (optional)
- ½ cup raw macadamia nuts, soaked at least 4 hours
- ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds, soaked at least 4 hours
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice + ½ teaspoon zest
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 small garlic clove
- handful of fresh herbs - basil, mint, oregano or tarragon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup water, more as needed
- Drain and rinse your macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds that have been soaking. Add them to a high speed blender with hemp seeds, lemon juice, lemon zest, white wine vinegar, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, and water. Add a little olive oil, if necessary, to get your blade moving.
- Use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to cut the zucchini into noodle-sized shapes. (You could also use a regular vegetable peeler - peel thin strips and then slice them vertically.)
- Toss zucchini "noodles," with a few spoonfuls of the ricotta, the tomatoes, a drizzle of olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Serve with extra ricotta on the side.
- Extra ricotta will keep in the fridge for about 1 day. If it gets a little watery on day 2, give it a stir until it's cohesive again.
option 1: replace macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds with all sunflower seeds.
option 2: replace macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, and hemp seeds with an equal amount of raw cashews.