We are living in the deep of winter.
Deep, dark, frozen winter. We’re talking multiples of ten below zero where your hands get frostbite within like two seconds of being exposed to the air. Why/how/why? This is exactly why I am channeling the warm vibes by bringing avocado, zucchini, and tomatoes into my life in the ultimate cozy form of PASTA. If there was ever a category of food to bring me back to life, it would most definitely be my old friend, my first love, the sustainer of my winter days – p-a-s-t-a.
This recipe is two things: we’re embracing that healthy trend of spiralized vegetables that makes it *FEEL LIKE* we’re eating pasta when we’re actually eating zucchini, while also, like, ACTUALLY eating real pasta. As in spaghetti. As in get in my belly now because it’s thirty degrees below zero.
Are you down?
I mean, if you’re completely honest with yourself, straight up zucchini noodles can really be just HARD TO DEAL WITH sometimes. They’re delicious for as long as you don’t think about them too much, and then all of a sudden, halfway through what started as a really delicious meal, you remember you’re eating zucchini instead of carbs and just, ugh, NO. You’ve betrayed your inner food self in the worst sort of way.
And if you’ve ever tried to re-visit them the next day as leftovers? Not so much, healthy self. Not. So. Much.
So with the open-mineded-to-spiralized-zucchini approach in half of your brain (we are so there, I know we are), and the loyalist-to-carbs in the other half of you brain (equally as powerful a force around here), you will now find yourself staring at a heaping bowl of this zucchini noodle + real spaghetti combo, and all is right in the zucchini noodle world.
We’ve got whole wheat spaghetti establishing the base, spiralized zucchini bulking up the whole thing and adding color + nutrition + just enough tender-crispy crunch, and creamy avocado sauce to bring them both together in sticky, saucy pasta harmony. And don’t even think for one second about skipping the sweet wrinkled roasty tomatoes on top of the whole thing because they’re adorable little bursts of vegetable candy, and who doesn’t need that sort of positivity in their life?
Also – I realize that this is yet another green food processor sauce and I’m not sorry one bit. You’re gonna love this one. SIMPLE CREAMY DELICIOUS.
THE SPIRALIZER SITUATION
There are a few things you’ll need to know.
- This is the magical thing they call a spiralizer.
- I’m currently using the Inspiralizer and loving it.
- Sad story: the cooked zucchini noodles are not delicious as leftovers. They’re just not. You could try to convince me otherwise in the comments but I probably wouldn’t believe you. So make this and eat it right away, or else store everything separately and prepare each serving just before you eat it.
- You could spiralize other vegetables and use them in place of zucchini. Sweet potatoes? With the avocado sauce? I am definitely feeling that.
Pasta Love in three, two…
- 3 cups yellow and red cherry tomatoes
- 2 zucchini, spiralized
- 4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti (optional - see notes)
- Parmesan for topping (but skip this if you're vegan, obvs)
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley
- 3-4 green onions (green parts)
- 1 garlic clove
- juice of 1 lemon
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- Pulse all sauce ingredients together until smooth. Set aside.
- Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat the cherry tomatoes in a large skillet over medium high heat with a very quick drizzle of olive oil. Gently shake the pan to get them moving (you might want to grab a lid for this - they really start to spatter when the juices hit the hot oil). Continue cooking until tomatoes are roasty-looking and the skins are split or loosened. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add the zucchini to the same pan and toss for 1-2 minutes, until tender-crisp. Add the spaghetti and the avocado sauce. Toss until combined. Season with salt and pepper, top with reserved tomatoes and Parmesan if you like that sort of thing. Serve immediately.
However, if you were making this without the chicken, I wouldn't go for the zucchini-noodles-only approach. The pasta makes it more of a meal in and of itself.