Courgetti with homemade pesto
When Natasha Wynn from Ballet, Dance & Fitness asked if I’d be interested in a guest post about courgetti (AKA spaghetti made of courgettes!), I was so excited. I’ve always wanted to try this, but still haven’t managed it, so I was looking forward to hearing about a real person making it, rather than just seeing it on Pinterest!
I recently tried and tested a two week strict cleanse eating mainly protein and green veggies. I can’t say I enjoyed it much, see my #2monthchallenge for more details, but there were a few recipes that I liked a lot and have made again since. One of these was pesto with courgette spaghetti….or courgetti!
Why on earth would you make courgette pretend to be pasta? You ask. It’s basically a meal that looks like a nice warming pasta dish but is actually pure vegetable and no carbohydrates. I found it kind of cheated my brain into feeling fuller and more satisfied than if I was just eating a salad.
It’s worth adding that I don’t actually support a completely carb free diet, the cleanse I went on was a personal experiment and that was one of my conclusions!
I’ve made this when I’ve been teaching until late and end up eating dinner at 10pm, which is not a time that you can eat and process carbohydrates well. Pesto is one of my favourite sauces, and it’s so easy to make, I never buy supermarket pesto any more!
Here’s the recipe!
For the courgetti:
- 1 medium courgette
- Julienne peeler (or a fancy gadget called a Spiralizer, which I don’t own)
Step one: Wash your courgette
Step two: Peel with the julienne peeler until you reach the soft, watery core
Step three: Heat a little oil (olive or coconut) and gently toss in courgetti until soft
For the pesto:
- Large bunch of fresh basil
- Handful of pine nuts
- Small handful of sunflower or toasted pumpkin seeds (optional, gives a sharpness to pesto)
- 1 clove of garlic, crushed or chopped
- Pinch of salt
- Small handful of parmesan or grana padano or any Italian hard cheese to taste
- Splash of lemon juice (optional)
- Olive oil
Step one: Remove the basil leaves from their stalks completely
Step two: Place basil, pine nuts, seeds (if using), garlic, salt and a splash of olive oil into a blender and blitz until basil has been shredded
Step three: Add more olive oil until pesto gets a slightly loose consistency
Step four: Add cheese and lemon to taste and continue to blitz until pesto is loose but not too runny
Step five: Toss pesto in with the coughetti until warm and the courghetti is completely covered (3-4 minutes). Then place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and enjoy!
There are quite a few different variations for this dish. Cherry tomatoes are a great friend of pesto, or you could toss in some pre-cooked chicken. My favourite was topping it with thinly sliced cold beef from a roast dinner the day before!
If you don’t have a blender but you do have a pestle and mortar, this is a great alternative, and works up the appetite too!
I need to try experimenting with other vegetables and my julienne peeler. I’ve heard spaghetti squash / pumpkin is a great pasta alternative.
If you’re on a special diet, reducing carbs, or gluten or simply wanting a lighter alternative to pasta, give courgetti a try! As for the pesto…use it with normal pasta, pop it on a pizza (homemade of course) or with your next chicken salad.
Hope you enjoy! For more of my healthy living and fitness tips, head to http://www.balletdancefitness.com
Thanks Katie @ BeNourishd for hosting me on my very first guest post.
Thank you Natasha!! I kept being put off making this because of my lack of spiralizer – great to know you can just make it with a regular julienne peeler.Keep in touch