zucchini pasta with almond pesto
Fun fact: I dabbled in pescetarianism for a time. I use the term “pescetarianism”, which sounds like a cult but actually refers to a diet that excludes turf but includes surf, because there are certain purists out there who would feel righteously indignant if I said “vegetarian” when I did in fact partake of all the ocean had to offer me. I abstained from a carnivorous lifestyle for a little over 7 years, actually, much to the chagrin of my hog farmer father. The evening following my declaration to my family to abstain from eating meat, my mother put something in the oven that nearly brought my determined little self to tears. Bacon. Ohhh the cruelty! I took it as a challenge to the very essence of who I was. In reality, I suppose she just wanted to make sure I was serious about it, especially considering it would mean making a “special dinner” every day just for me. Because, you see, many people are of the notion that a meal is not a meal, without meat.
I didn’t eat the bacon. And I didn’t cheat on my determination for those seven years. And while I enthusiastically partake of meat now, my vow of meatlessness did teach me a few things. One of them being: it is not always easy for a vegetarian to find a satisfying, meatless meal. I specifically remember buffets where I looked rude and pretentious with my plate of raw veggies, because other than the vegetable platter, nothing was without meat. (OK, well maybe I did turn my nose up at the egg salad. But I mean, come on!)
Now, while I have more than made up for lost meat over the years, I do eat vegetarian several times a week. To me, it’s just another opportunity to be creative in the kitchen! And above all, we all look for great flavor, no? So to that end, here’s one of my takes on crazy simple but super delicious meatless pasta (or, pastaless pasta, for that matter!)
3 green zucchinis
3 yellow zucchinis
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs almond pesto
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
Zucchinis, pesto, salt and pepper. Sound simple? It is!
Slice your zucchinis into strips. In a frying pan (I used cast iron because I love the way it absorbs and maintains the heat!) over medium heat, add your oil and distribute evenly over pan. Add your zucchini strips and sauté until starting to get tender (just a few minutes). Add pesto and toss. Cook for a couple more minutes until zucchini is slightly al dente and the pesto is fully incorporated and aromatic. Season generously with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Serves 1 hungry veggie lover!