Can you feel the spring vibes or what??
Funny thing is, my food these days totally looks like spring, but my environment is still looking like winter. I could complain for days about it, BUT I am choosing to be super positive, and just be like, “ahh, whateves”. I mean, we can all pretend right??
This is one of those recipes I have been thinking about for a while now. Well, not that long, but for about a month now I have been dreaming of making a fresh green pasta with zucchini noodles and heavy, heavy Greek flavors. I just needed to wait until the right time, and well, I have decided that waiting is zero fun and it’s time to share!
I actually made and photographed this a couple of weeks ago, but I have made it three times now since. It’s seriously that good… and that easy!
Alright and as you can tell, I am really just craving spring…
So much so that it completely annoys me when my mother says she is excited about all the snow we are having this week. Like is she crazy?? YES. She is that person that is so into the snow and I just do not get it. I mean, I get it at Christmas time, but not in mid March when things should be thawing out and buds should be popping up and outta the ground. You know?
Breathe Tieghan… ok, again, thinking positive thoughts. It really is my new thing. I’m really not the most positive person in the world. I can also be pretty hard on myself, so my goal these days is to just try to stay happy!! Fake it till you make it…?
But this Green Goddess Zucchini Pasta!! Let’s chat about it.
Chatting about pasta always makes me super happy… even when it’s dumping snow in March, and especially when it’s pretty and colorful! ☺️
This is actually a mix of REAL pasta and zucchini “pasta”. I’ve said this before, but I am just not the kind of person that can eat a bowl of zucchini “pasta” and be left with a happy tummy. Nope, I need carbs. Carbs are my friends. They give me energy and make me feel all happy and full inside…gesshh a lot of happiness going on in today’s post. It’s the bowls of pasta…happy vibes are hard to resist when bowls of pasta (with fried halloumi cheese) are involved.
Anyway, this pasta is the perfect dish to enter us into spring. It’s simple, quick and loaded with things like avocado basil pesto (THE BEST), zucchini, fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes, fried cheese (EVERYTHING) and toasted nuts + seeds. You can easily adapt it to be vegan or bump up the protein and add grilled chicken or roasted chickpeas.
Can we talk about few key factors to this recipe though??
…first, the avocado basil pesto. Um, this may just be my new favorite sauce/dip/spread for toast, crackers, pasta and everything in between. It’s kind of amazing. I used a combo of basil + mint + pistachios, but the thing that really makes this pesto is the avocado. It gives the pasta a creamy texture without adding any cream. You’d think that the pesto would turn brown after a while because of the avocado, but the acid from the lemon keeps it bright and green. Granted my pasta has yet to last longer than twenty-four hours in my kitchen, but I think leftovers should be good for a couple days…pretty sure it won’t last that long in your kitchen either though.
…second, the fried halloumi cheese. Legit, this is the best thing ever. Fried cheese is always, always a good idea.? truth.
…third, the crunchy seeds + nuts. I have been doing this with a lot of dishes lately, but it’s just so good. Cook your favorite nuts + seeds in a skillet with a little olive oil + a pinch of salt and then sprinkle them atop everything. SO GOOD.
…fourth, this pasta is literally so easy to make. Add all the pesto ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend. Toss the pesto with hot pasta, fry your cheese. EAT.
OK and lastly, not only is this super springy, but… its GREEN food! Meaning, it’s kind of perfect for this week, seeing as tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day!! Is anyone doing anything fun? Are you making Corned Beef? Going to a parade? Starting your weekend a day early with one too many Irish Coffees?
Totally thinking a bowl of Lucky Charms for breakfast (once a year, gotta have my Lucky Charms…but minus the marshmallows cause I weirdly was never into them), green pasta for lunch (duh) and then dinner is kind of undecided, but it’s between these Corned Beef Tacos, this Irishman’s Mac and Cheese and tomorrow’s recipe…be excited its cheesy!
Green Goddess Zucchini Pasta with Fried Halloumi.
- 1/2 pound spaghetti or use gluten free if needed OR more zucchini "noodles"
- 2-3 zucchini spiralized using a veggie spiralizer*
- 1/4 cup tahini sesame seed paste
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 of an avocado or 1 small avocado
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons roasted pistachios
- 1 cup fresh basil
- 1/2 cup fresh mint
- 1 jalapeno seeded
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup grated parmesan or 1/4 cup nutritional yeast if vegan
- salt + pepper to taste
- 8 ounces halloumi cheese sliced (omit if vegan)
- 1/4 cup toasted pistachios + sesame seeds
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta according to package directions. Just before draining, reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and add to a bowl with the spiralized zucchini.
In a food processor or high powered blender, combine the tahini, garlic, avocado, lemon juice, pistachios, basil, mint, jalapeno and olive oil. Blend until you have a pesto like sauce, adding more olive oil if needed to thin. Add the parmesan and season with salt + pepper.
Pour the avocado pesto sauce over the hot pasta + zucchini. Toss well to combine, thin the sauce with pasta cooking water if needed.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Once hot, add the Halloumi slices and cook for 1-2 minutes per side or until lightly golden. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Divide the warm pasta among bowls or plates. Top with the halloumi cheese, tomatoes and seeds. EAT!
Nothin better. Go big or go home. ?