Since he isn’t a big fan (not quite a hater) of zucchini , I was a bit worried when I fed Steven these roasted tomato pesto zucchini noodles. But he took a few bites, and said, “I don’t know why we’d ever make regular spaghetti again when we can make zucchini noodles.” And then we proceeded to have a conversation that we realized sounded suspiciously like it was being recorded for a spiralizer infomercial.
Him: “How did you make these zucchini noodles?
Me: “I bought a spiralizer! You can turn other vegetables into noodles, too, like carrots, sweet potatoes, or cucumber, and get more vegetables in your diet.”
Him: “So you can just skip the empty carbs of regular pasta. Is it hard to make the noodles?”
Me: “No! It’s really easy and fun!”
Then we turned off the cameras and said what we were really thinking. (I’m kidding, we actually had that real conversation.)
Yeah, I finally jumped on the spiralizer bandwagon. In general I try to avoid kitchen-gadget trends, but I kept seeing delicious-looking vegetable noodle recipes, so I did some research. I read some articles from some converted skeptics, and reviews of different models, and then added one to my online shopping cart, where it sat for months. Zucchini season finally inspired me to pull the trigger the other day and order the Paderno three-blade model. Making this recipe was the first time I used it, and it really was fun. So now that I’m a spiralizer convert, I’ll be turning everything into noodles.
Except maybe for cherry tomatoes. I don’t think you can spiralize those. But that’s fine, because you don’t need to to make slow-roasted cherry tomatoes. If you’re roasting them for this recipe, you might as well do two pints. That’s two sheet pans’ worth, and though you’ll only need half of them for the noodles, you’ll be happy to have the rest for snacking. But let’s say you don’t have time for three hours of slow-roasting. I understand, it’s a serious chunk of time. Next time plan ahead to do your roasting during your Crazy Ex-Girlfriend binge-watching session (what a good, weird show, right?), but this time either just use the cherry tomatoes fresh, or buy sundried tomatoes.
Another place you can save time is with the pesto. I had leftovers from making carrot top and garlic scape pesto, so I used that, but I’m sure store-bought would be just as good.
It’ll be a while yet before my tomato plants produce enough tomatoes for this recipe, but now I’m mad that I didn’t plant any zucchini this year. Figuring out how to use up giant zucchinis stressed me out too much last summer, so I decided to skip it this year. Maybe it’s not too late to plant some for zucchini noodles, though.
Pesto Tomato Zucchini Noodles
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 medium zucchinis
1/3 cup pesto (homemade or store-bought)
1/2 cup feta cheese
First, slow-roast the cherry tomatoes. This takes 2 to 3 hours, so you can do this ahead of time, and store them in a sealed container in the fridge for several days.
Preheat oven to 225°F.
Halve each tomato crosswise. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet cut-side up. Drizzle or spray with olive oil, just enough to make the tomatoes glisten. Sprinkle salt and pepper onto the tomatoes. Bake for about three hours, checking them after two hours. You want them to be shriveled and dry, but with a little juice left inside. The exact time will vary based on the size of your tomatoes.
When your tomatoes are 5 or 10 minutes from being done, spiralize two medium zucchinis. Place the zucchinis in a large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Stir in 1/3 cup pesto, and toss noodles to evenly coat with the pesto and heat through. If using refrigerated roasted cherry tomatoes, add them now so that they get warmed with the noodles. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until noodles are hot and al dente. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a large bowl, and toss with cherry tomatoes and feta cheese.