I know what you’re thinking…
Pesto? Zucchini noodles? Cherry Tomatoes? Is it August or March?
I know. I know!
I’m a little early with this recipe (like four months too early) – but we’re going with it. We’re going with it.
I’m repeating myself a lot, yeah?
Sooo. Let’s put aside the fact that I went a little out of season with these ingredients, and talk about why you should make it now. Maybe not right this second (hi, it’s like 8 am), but how about this weekend? Monday night when you’re looking for something quick and healthy?
I rely heavily on pasta-centered recipes, especially during the winter months. Pasta is my kryptonite. It’s what I know best What I learned to cook at a young age, what I crave probably more than any other dish. It will forever be my one true downfall. I have a lot of downfalls, but a bowl of pasta is up at the very top.
Since it’s something I want often but know I shouldn’t have alllll zeee time, I turn to veggie noodles. By no means do I think zucchini or sweet potato noodles replace that carb-loving-feeling you get with a real pasta noodle, but when you build it around a dish with a ton of flavor – you still get that fix.
While you can definitely omit the shrimp if you’re not a fan (some chicken could work too!) — I think it’s a pretty key component for this recipe. It’s tossed in lots of garlic to give it tons of flavor, and it adds a little extra oomph to make the dish more filling.
As for the zucchini! Once you spiralize (the fun part!), make sure to really squeeze out the excess water with some paper towels. No one wants watery noodles. And these take no more than 60 seconds to cook (maybe 90, depending on your stove). You want them to still have a little bit of texture, and they can overcook quickly if you keep them in there too long.
This dish gives me that fix! Which is why I’m sharing it in March when zucchini or tomatoes (or basil for that matter) may not technically be in season. Who cares for technicality anyways?
Maybe I’ll try to sell this as a St. Patrick’s Day recipe? There is a lot of green involved! No? Too far?
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Salt and pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ¾ cup cherry or grape tomatoes
- 4 medium-sized zucchinis, ends removed
- ¼ cup basil pesto
- 2 ounces fresh mozzarella
- Fresh chopped basil
- In a large pot or saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat and add the garlic, cook for 30 seconds. Add shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook shrimp until fully cooked and pink, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer shrimp to plate, season with red pepper flakes, squeeze lemon juice over top - and set aside.
- Add a little more olive oil to the pan. Toss tomatoes into the pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook just for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Using a vegetable spiralizer, cut zucchini into noodles. Wrap the noodles in a paper towel, and squeeze the excess water out of the noodles. Add the noodles to the same pan used for the shrimp and sauté for 60 seconds over medium heat, until just tender. Turn the heat off. Season with salt and pepper, then toss ½ of the pesto with the noodles. Toss the shrimp and cherry tomatoes into the pan, and add another spoonful of pesto in, if desired. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.