Spaghetti Pesto and Zucchini

Spaghetti Pesto and Zucchini

Enjoy this easy heart healthy recipe. It’s a great way to take advantage of the abundance of zucchini available the summer months and a delicious way to get some vegetables into your day.

4 medium zucchini, chopped
12 oz. package, whole-wheat or gluten free spaghetti
1 bunch fresh basil (large, about 2 cups), washed
1 clove garlic, minced OR
1 tsp. minced garlic, from jar
2 Tbsp. walnuts or almonds, unsalted
2 Tbsp. low-sodium chicken broth, veggie broth or water
1 1/2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper

Trim the ends off the zucchini and discard. Cut each zucchini into halves, thinly slicing each half to make about 8 cups chopped zucchini

Coat a large nonstick pan with cooking spray. Add zucchini to the pan over medium-high heat. Stirring frequently with a spoon or spatula, saute zucchini until softened, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove zucchini from heat.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti into the boiling water, cooking according to package directions (without adding salt). When pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander, making sure to save ΒΌ cup pasta water.

Make Pesto sauce. Into the bowl of a food processor, add 2 cups cooked zucchini along with basil leaves, garlic, nuts, broth, oil, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Process the mixture until blended, about 1 minute, adding another 1 to 2 tablespoons of broth or water if needed for a thinner consistency.

In a large bowl, mix together drained spaghetti and pesto sauce, along with 1 to 2 tablespoons reserved pasta water for moisture (or more, if needed). Top with the rest of the cooked zucchini and serve.

If you need an extra protein boost you can saute some diced chicken breast or shrimp with a little oil, garlic and salt and add to the pasta mixture

Serves 6, 272 Calories, 132 mg Sodium

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