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Zucchini Spaghetti with Pesto, White Beans & Roasted Tomatoes

Zucchini Spaghetti with Pesto, White Beans & Roasted Tomatoes

Course: DinnerDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

In 2015, I was studying for the Bar Exam and bought my first “spiralizer”. The ease at which it turned a humble zucchini into something fabulous was exactly what I needed after a long day of stress snacking while cramming Constitutional Law. Nowadays, the novelty of the spiraled vegetable has worn off on me a bit, but I still find myself reaching for my spiralizer during the Summer. I adore grilled zucchini, but live in a high rise where grills are prohibited. Thus, whenever I buy or am gifted zucchini, I either make my legendary shaved zucchini salad,
or make some sort of pasta situation.

In the Bar Exam prep days, I would eat a pile of zucchini noodles with some kind of sauce on top. Now that I’m older and wiser, I prefer my zucchini noodles in conjunction with real noodles. The best part about this dish is that the strained pasta water is what “cooks” the zucchini noodles. I simply place the zucchini noodles in the colander and drain the cooked pasta right on top. Next, I dress the 50/50 zucchini noodle/spaghetti mixture with my foolproof basil pesto, stir in some white beans, and top it all with roasted tomatoes. The result? Late Summer on a plate. I hope you love this dish as much as I do!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini, spiralized into noodles

  • 12 oz. spaghetti

  • 2 cups cooked white beans (canned are ok), drained of liquid

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano Cheese, plus extra for serving

  • 1 batch Roasted Tomatoes (recipe below)

  • 1 batch Foolproof Basil Pesto (recipe below)

  • Kosher salt

  • freshly cracked black pepper

  • Foolproof Basil Pesto
  • 2 cups basil leaves, clean and DRY

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed

  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts

  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese

  • 3/4 tsp Kosher Salt

  • Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, rinsed and dried

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano

  • 1/2 tsp dried basil

  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt

  • a few cranks of freshly cracked black pepper

Directions

  • Roasted Tomatoes
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees (F). Toss tomatoes with olive oil, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, and place on a small sheet pan. Roast for 25-30 minutes, or until burst and lightly brown. 
  • Foolproof Basil Pesto
  • While tomatoes are in oven, make pesto. Toast pine nuts on the stove using a small skillet over medium heat, shaking pan frequently. After about 8 minutes, pine nuts should smell nutty and have a golden exterior. Cool to room temperature. When it comes to pesto, a blender, or tall receptacle and immersion blender is ideal. Using a food processor is problematic because it creates too much surface area, which exposes basil to lots of oxygen (which then turns the pesto brown). Place oil in blender or tall receptacle if using an immersion blender. Add garlic and only 1/3 of your basil leaves. Cover your basil COMPLETELY with olive oil and blend (This is a vital step. It’s what prevents the basil from browning). Add another 1/3 of your basil, cover completely with oil, and blend. Repeat with remaining basil.  Add pine nuts and pulse until incorporated into basil purée. By hand, stir in grated cheese and Kosher salt.
  • To prepare pasta:
  • Prepare spaghetti according to instructions. Place zucchini noodles in a very large colander. Strain pasta right on top of zucchini noodles, so that that zucchini noodles “cook” in pasta water. Toss spaghetti with zucchini noodles to distribute evenly. In pasta pot, combine noodle mixture with white beans, pesto, and 1/2 cup Parmesan or Pecorino cheese. Season to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper. Divide pasta between four plates and top with roasted tomatoes. Serve with additional cheese, if desired.

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