This fresh summer recipe features burst cherry tomatoes, cherry tomato and sun-dried tomato pesto, zucchini noodles and spaghetti! It’s light and delicious.
Pasta and zucchini noodles
8 ounces whole grain spaghetti
1 large zucchini
⅔ cup walnuts
2 pints (4 cups) cherry or grape tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
¼ cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinsed and drained
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup lightly packed basil leaves, larger leaves torn into small pieces
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese or vegan Parmesan, for serving (both optional)
Olive oil, for drizzling
* Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the spaghetti. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Spiralize the zucchini with a spiralizer (here’s how), or turn the zucchini into noodles with a julienne peeler, or grate the zucchini the long way on a large box grater.
* Toast the walnuts: In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the walnuts, stirring occasionally, until they smell nice and fragrant, about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
* Cook the cherry tomatoes: In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cherry tomatoes, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Cover the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes have burst open and they are cooking in their own juices, about 7 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
* In a food processor, combine the walnuts, half of the cooked tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, red pepper flakes, ¼ teaspoon salt and several twists of freshly ground black pepper. Blend until the mixture is pretty smooth, then season to taste with additional lemon juice, salt and/or pepper until the flavors really sing (if that doesn’t do the trick, add some more sun-dried tomatoes). Blend again.
* Pour the pesto over the spaghetti and toss to combine. If you’ll be consuming this dish in one sitting, go ahead and toss in all of the zucchini noodles now, too. (If you plan on having leftovers, store the zucchini noodles separately from the rest, as they leach water when they’re exposed to salt—I just pile the noodles on top of my individual bowls and wait to stir them in when I’m ready to eat. Hope that makes sense.)
* Pour the rest of the cherry tomatoes on top of the dish, and sprinkle the basil over them. Toss gently, and divide the mixture into bowls. Top individual bowls with Parmesan or nutritional yeast, if you’d like, and a light drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.