The Spiralizer Chronicles, Chapter 1: Zucchini “Noodles” with Walnut Pesto

Like many, several weeks before the holidays each year I make a list and budget for the gifts I intend to buy for family and friends. (Sorry, but there’s something seriously wrong with people who proudly declare that their shopping is done on September 1st.) At the very top of my list is the same name each and every year. That name is mine. Most years, I buy myself a gift before buying anyone anything. You want to get into the Christmas spirit? Buy yourself a gift first thing. Works like a charm.

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Zucchini Pesto Pasta 6

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This year I really didn’t know what to buy myself. I had just survived a rather expensive period and didn’t want to splurge on anything major. I had seen a spiralizer attachment for my stand mixer but it seemed a little expensive and I wondered if I’d really use it. The internal debate ended when the piece of equipment was on sale for 25% off with free shipping. It wasn’t long thereafter that it arrived and, well, it was love at first sight. We’ve   been happily at work together ever since.

Before getting into today’s dish, understand that hand-cranked spiralizers are available and can easily be found on the internet. I’ve no experience with any of them but I do enjoy using my stand mixer’s attachment. In less than 10 minutes I have a large bowl of vegetable noodles and the removable parts can safely be washed in the dishwasher. All of its parts fit into a form-fitting box that can be easily stored on a shelf or in a cupboard. In short, I like it far more than I thought I would.

Though I’ve tried several recipes, we’ll start with the simplest of dishes, Zucchini Noodles  with Pesto.

To begin, make your pesto. If you haven’t a recipe, you can check out my recipe for Pesto Genovese. In today’s recipe, not wishing to pay the exorbitant prices for imported Italian pine nuts, I used an equal amount of roasted walnuts instead. I saved a few more for garnish, as well. I also use less oil than most recommend and that will affect things later in the recipe.

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Zucchini Pasta Combo

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With the pesto made, now turn your attention to the zucchini. I’ve found that it’s best to buy squash that are as straight as possible and medium-sized. The instructions for my spiralizer recommend using pieces of vegetable that are about 4 inches (10 cm) in length, although I’ve used lengths a little more than that. There’s no need to peel the squash so you should pick vegetables with relatively unblemished skins. I’ve used both yellow squash and green zucchini but, to tell you the truth, it’s not easy to tell which is which in the finished dish, especially when dressed with pesto.

All that’s left to do now is to assemble your dish. First, take a handful of halved cherry/grape tomatoes and toss them into the bowl of noodles. Since my pesto is thicker than most, I sprinkle a little olive oil – about 1 tablespoon – over the bowl’s contents and gently toss until evenly coated. Now all that’s needed is the pesto. Add as much as you would to any pasta dish but, initially, it’s better to add less pesto than you think necessary. More can always be added but there’s nothing to be done once too much pesto has been added to a dish.

Prior to bringing the bowl to the table, garnish with the reserved toasted walnuts and some grated Pecorino Romano cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano may be substituted, as can grated vegan cheese, depending upon what was used to prepare the pesto).

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Zucchini Pesto Pasta 3

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This dish could not be easier to prepare and if you’ve pesto on-hand, it can be prepared and served from the same bowl. As one who lives alone, I cannot tell you how very appealing that latter statement is. From kitchen to sofa in 15 minutes, with a clean kitchen in 5 minutes more. Hard to beat that!

Cooking some spiralizer noodles can result in quite a bit of excess water in the pan. I avoided the problem here by using raw zucchini noodles. In some instances, baking the noodles will help to rid the noodles of the excess water, as will sautéing so long as the pan remains uncovered. To be sure, this issue will resurface in future recipes.

Oh! One last thing to consider. 1 ounce (28 g) of raw zucchini with the skin has about 5 calories and 1 gram of carbs. Compare that to 1 oz of dry spaghetti which has about 126 calories and 24.5 grams of carbs. And that, my friends, is about as close to a negative comment about pasta that you’ll ever get from me — unless it’s over-cooked.

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We’ve only just begun …

In the weeks and months ahead, be sure to come back to see how this love affair continues. Beets, squash, (sweet) potatoes, zucchini, and apples are but a few of the ingredients to be transformed into salads, “noodles”, and casseroles.

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It’s déjà vu all over again …

Zucchini Penne

Admittedly, vegetarian main courses aren’t everyday occurrences on this blog. Since one such recipe was shared today, why not send you back for another, Jamie Oliver’s Zucchini and Penne? Unlike today’s gluten-free noodles, however, Jamie’s dish combines real penne and a close facsimile, smartly cut zucchini. It’s another great dish and one that you can find simply by clicking HERE.

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Coming soon to a monitor near you …

Spaghetti alla Gricia Preview

Spaghetti alla Gricia

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125 thoughts on “The Spiralizer Chronicles, Chapter 1: Zucchini “Noodles” with Walnut Pesto

  1. Lovely “zoodles” – courgette (zucchini) are the only kind I really like, and then as a cold salad. Sandra @ Please Pass the Recipe recently had a number of really good toppings for courgette “zoodles” including a spicy peanut one, along the same line of thought as your walnut pesto. I also buy myself a Christmas present early on – usually a kitchen gadget, even if it is only a new wooden spoon. Really does get you in the spirit. Happy sprialising!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Debi. I have been spiralizing a lot these days. Just tonight I had a raw beet, apple, and sweet potato salad. (Recipe forthcoming.) Next time around you’ll see butternut squash used in the style of an old pasta dish. Sandra is so much better at coming up with recipes than I am and I look forward to her posts. I’ve just been using veggie “noodles” to recreate some of my favorite dishes. Even so, I am enjoying myself. I give myself the best gifts! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is but the first of a number of recipes, Francesca. You reminded me. I was out shopping with a friend recently and I told her of my gift to myself. When I mentioned that, because of this gift, I hadn’t cooked pasta in over 3 weeks, she bought a spiralizer at the next store that had one. That’s about the best recommendation that I can give for a cooking tool. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. I refuse to pay that much for a few nuts. It’s just not gonna happen. I have used blanched alomonds in Pesto Trapanese. I love to make it when my garden’s cherry tomatoes are fully ripe, of course, but I also make it now, when winter has us in its grip. A fresh tomato pesto is a great reminder that winter will give way to summer — eventually. You can check out the recipe HERE.
      Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to comment. Don’t be a stranger! 🙂

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  2. Hi John, your zucchini noodles look great. How did you actually cook the ones in the photo? To thin out pesto I usually use some of the pasta cooking water.
    Do you also use the squishy inside of the zucchini to make noodles?

    I’ve been contemplating to get a spiralizer for a long time. Your enthusiasm may just have tipped the scales 😉 If I do get one, you should get yourself a sous-vide next year 😉 😉 😉

    PS Pine nuts here are like $1/oz, but those are not imported from Italy.

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    • Hi, Stefan, These noodles weren’t cooked at all. I wasn’t proficient enough at the time to cook them first. Since then, I’ve pan fried some and baked others — and the results vary accordingly. I’m not about to say that one of these dishes equal its pasta predecessor, I will say that it is a very tasty alternative that we need to find a better naming convention. “Pasta” and “noodle” just ain’t right. Stay tuned… ChapterII arrives next week. 🙂

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  3. I love everything about this post but most of all I love the idea of starting holiday shopping with a gift for yourself – I will definitely remember that! I am looking forward to more recipes for the spiralizer; I have a hand cranked one that I am very pleased with (but yours sounds more exciting!) so I am always on the lookout for new ideas.

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    • Thanks! I’m definitely still in the honeymoon phase and haven’t put the thing back in the box in a couple of weeks. I’m aways trying something with it. My biggest problems are trying to maintain a bit of crunch to the cooked noodles and to get rid of excess water. I’m making progress on both fronts but, for now, I sure do love this pesto dish. 🙂

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  4. Oooh – interesting post. I have a pal who has also fairly recently bought a spiralizer and she’s raving about it. Was not sure if I’d use one a lot as Big Man does enjoy his “real” food but I think it has loads of possibilites! The finished dish looks really good and I think could help with making non meat days much more exciting 🙂

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    • Hey,Tanya! i never expected to use it as much as I am now. Granted, nothing will ever take the place of real pasta but these “zuddles” are a nice change. I’ve got a few more dishes on the schedule but I’m spacing them out so that I can perfect a couple. I’ll be posting another recipe next week. That one uses butternut squash. Stay tuned … 🙂

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  5. Bourno Sera John, I thought i would never see the day…! You bought yourself a fun gadget. I am sure you will get loads of use out of it as you make so many delicious sauces you will never get bored with the list of recipes you can try. Seriously having some motivation issues lately so a dinner on table in 15 minutes is right up my alley. Take care

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    • Buona notte, BAM! I don;t how you Moms do i. Period. You may find it a bit different preparing enough for a family of but I really can get this pesto dinner on my table in 15 minutes — and it tastes great! Other dishes may take longer depending upon whether the “noodles” are sautéed or baked. I’ve not deep fried any nor do I plan on doing so. I’ve had a several hits and a few misses but, all n all, I’ve had fun with it. 🙂
      Have a great week!

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    • Thanks, Sandra. I’ve yet to try Trapanese but it’s on my list to try. I never thought I’d use it as much as I am. I should have bought one last summer when the farmers markets were bustling. Those vendors are going to see a lot of me.
      As for the Christmas gifts, I’ve never had to return a gift I gave myself. I’m really easy to shop for. ;D

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  6. This really made me laugh, as buying myself a Christmas present is the first thing I do, too. I have a hand-cranked spiraliser but I have to confess I’m not convinced by it: although I liked the potato nests and remoulade I made using it, I can get similar results with the gadgets I already had. I look forward to you converting me though! Lx

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    • It’s a good system isn’t it, Linda? I’ve yet to return a gift that I bought myself.
      I’ve got more spiralizer recipes planned, one for next week, in fact. I’m still learning what works and what doesn’t. Most of my problems come from cooking the “noodles”. I avoided them all by using raw zucchini this time. You’re right, too, about the potatoes. I’ve fallen in love with baked sweet potato shoestrings. 🙂

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      • I was quite taken by the fact that when I spiralised potatoes on mine, I was left with little cylinders or sometimes ‘mushrooms’ that didn’t go through the machine. I had great fun cooking those separately. I know, I need to get out more …

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    • I’ve no experience with the crank models, Amanda. This one makes quick work of everything I “feed” it. It cut through a butternut squash in about a minute, if that. Just tonight I made a casserole. I know that the novelty will wear off and my kitchen will return to normal but, for now, I’m a spiralizing fool! 🙂

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  7. Welcome to the club, JOhn! I considered the idea of upgrading mine to the KA attachment, but so far have resisted. If you could tell me how well it works for carrots, I would be paying attention – the one I have only works with super chubby carrots and it’s still a bit of a hit or miss

    you started your adventures with a fantastic recipe! I will be following your spiralized self!

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    • To whom do I pay dues? The KA people were of no help. I’ve not use it for carrots yet, Sally, but I do know what you mean. I made a casserole for dinner tonight and used relatively short, thin zucchini. They didn’t work too well and they were thicker than most carrots. I googled it and only found one and they used a really large carrot. I’ll keep at it, though, and will let you know what I find out. As it is, next week I’ll share a recipe using butternut squash. 🙂

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  8. John, I would love to know your impression of the KA attachment — ease of use, how easy it is to clean — I have a plastic spiralizer and while we love the results of having lovely vegetable alternative noodles, the appliance itself is just okay to use (hard to get it to hold to the counter). I have a stand mixer and have been considering the attachment …
    BTW — zucchini, like pasta, is better salted in advance. I sprinkle salt on it to let it weep some of the moisture and flavor the veg before a quick sautee. Of course this adds a few minutes to the overall time.
    AND your pesto looks delicious and is so versatile — noodles, spread over chicken, added to a white lasagna — oh yes, please!

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    • Yes, Judy, I’ve salted the “noodles” before use, too. Did it just tonight. I resisted doing it because rinsing them after salting seemed counter-intuitive but it does work and helps to keep the moisture content down.
      As for the KA attachment, it works very well with spuds, beets, apples, butternut squash, and of course zucchini & yellow squash. It doesn’t do such a good job if the veggie is too slender, like carrots or small zucchini. Perhaps they’ll work better with a different blade. Cleanup is a snap. There are only 2 parts to clean, the rest can be wiped, and both of those 2 can go in the dishwasher. I just rinse mine off. It works fast and is effortless, a big plus if you’re trying to spiralize a squash. It has a peeler blade but I doubt I’ll use it. I rarely have need to peel more than 1 apple. All in all, I’m very pleased with it. About the best recommendation I can give is to tell you — in very hushed tones — that I’ve only prepared pasta once since Christmas!! Shhh. 🙂

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  9. I hate internal debates…but I love them when they turn out favorably and this one certainly did. I have a hopeless addiction to pesto and whatever appears underneath, inside, beside, etc. winds up being devoured also. Photos are wonderful as usual. I am far from a vegan but if more vegan main dishes make their way here I’m certainly all in!

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    • I’m with ya! Love pesto and will never go vegan. I tried going vegetarian a number of years ago and lasted about 6 months. I never stopped thinking about beef the entire time. I finally gave in. I yam what I yam. 😀

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  10. It’s been walnuts for us in pesto for quite some time now. Love pine nuts, and nothing quite compares to their flavor; but walnuts make a truly excellent substitute. Don’t miss them in pesto at all (I suppose, though, in a few other dishes there really is no substitute for pine nuts). Anyway, love the zucchini “pasta!” I don’t have a spiralizer, but keep seeing intriguing recipes for them (like this one!). One of these days I’ll have to break down and get one. Fun post — thanks.

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    • We share a love of pine nuts, John, but I refuse to pay such a high price for the good quality imports. As you say,walnuts are a good alternative. I doubt I would have bought my spiralizer had it not been on sale. I thought it just another gadget that would further clutter my kitchen. When I saw it on sale and that it came in a nice storage box, I was sold. I’m still learning its pros and cons but I’m enjoying myself in the process. 🙂

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  11. Lovely…yes I definitely agree about the Christmas present. I usually buy a little something for myself as well and it does feel special. The spiralizer looks like a wonderful little tool. I believe I would enjoy it as well. What stand mixer do you have that you ordered the attachment to?

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    • I must admit that I do give myself the most thoughtful gifts. Nothing extravagant but nice, nonetheless. 🙂
      Mine is a Kitchen Aid stand mixer. There are many hand crank models available online, however. I am very pleased with my little gadget and use it far more than I dreamt that I would. It’s been an interesting few weeks in my kitchen. 🙂

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    • Well, I made actual pasta Sunday night for photos for next week’s recipe. That’s the first dinner since Christmas. I’ve been spiralizing everything I can get my hands on. Max had better stay out of my way! 🙂

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    • I had no idea that I had so many kindred spirits around the holiday. I wonder how less crowded the malls would be if all of us self-shopper stayed home. 🙂
      Believe me, Ronit, nothing will ever take the place of pasta in my house. This is a new toy and my pasta machine is right beside it on my “pasta board”. 🙂

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    • I’ve been self-gifting for quite a few years now and I do a pretty good job of it. I”m never disappointed nor have I ever returned anything. 🙂
      I’ve got more recipes to share. One’s coming next week. I’ve used it to make a raw salad, shoestring potatoes, a tuna casserole, and more “pastas”. It has a problem with thin, slender veggies, like carrots or small zucchini. Maybe I’m just not yet adept at using the gadget. I’ll keep trying, though. I’m too stubborn to let a veggie defeat me!

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  12. Oh what a wonderful laugh emanated from this house upon your comment ‘from kitchen to sofa’ – am afraid that when alone I’ll eat in an array of spots but rarely sitting behind a table 😀 !! Have three el cheapo spiralizers which have somehow ended in this house as ‘bonuses’ on kitchen-related on line purchases. Love zoodles and use other ‘soft’ vegetables . . .don’t think they would quite manage root ones . . .but love the idea . . . and selfishly always ‘treat’ myself first 🙂 !!

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    • I have a separate dining room, Eha, but the only time I sit there is when I’ve dinner guests. Otherwise, it’s a nice place for the daily mail to rest. Most often, I’m eating right here, in front of my Mac or, as I mentioned in the post, on the sofa. That’s the beauty of this mechanized gadget, it will cut through just about anything. It does have a problem with very thin veggies, though, like carrots. I have to get more experience or bigger carrots. 🙂

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      • *soft laugh* Well, my dining room table has about a hundred million zillion books and files adorning it just now, obviously a lack of dinner guests at the moment . . . with our delightful climate and my propensity of having a main meal in the middle of the day, the latter is likely to be under my wide-spreading rose bush outside . . . 🙂 ! Find spiralizers fun tho’ . . . :D!!

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        • Dinner outside under a rose bush? My does that sound nice! We are months away from a lunch so lovely but it will get here, all in due time. Have to resist the urge to wish that warm weather get here. That would mean we’d rush through at least 6 months of every year. That’s not good. 🙂

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  13. So here is the ugly truth: the first time I saw a commercial about the KA attachment I looked at it with disdain. Little by little disdain turned into suspicion and suspicion turned into … maybe I can have an open mind and consider this. Your post came as a surprise to me and I have to admit I’m totally intrigued by the combination of the zucchini noodles with pesto! I really like it. Great idea, John! Thank you! 🙂

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    • You’re welcome, Francesca. Your thought process pretty much mirrored mine. I definitely would not have purchased one had it not been on sale. I didn’t think I’d use it enough to warrant the cost. Now, I use it so often that it would have been well worth paying full price. I’ve got a butternut squash recipe coming up next week, with more to come down the road. I hope you’ll find them as enjoyable as this one.

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  14. I purchased an inexpensive spiralizer at “Home Goods” and so far only tried zucchini. I look forward to trying more veggies and look forward to your ideas. Thanks for the pesto recipe. I’ll definitely be trying this one soon. Love Pecorino and buying myself a Christmas present 🙂

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  15. I have been wanting to buy a spiralizer ever since I bought spiralized beets at Whole Foods. I roasted them with a touch of olive oil and some salt, and I am still thinking about how good they were. You are right. I hate overcooked pasta. But I can’t eat pasta every night and this would be a good, healthy change!

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    • I’ve not spiralized roasted beets yet but I have used raw in a salad with apple and sweet potato. So many veggies, so little time…
      I’ve got a great pasta recipe next week and am working on a couple more. The hard part is to cook the noodles correctly. They get limp awfully fast and some, like zucchini, give off quite a bit of water. I am getting better at it, though. Yay!

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  16. I don’t know how I’ve missed your last two posts…. In any event, I’ve found them now. I’ve been seriously thinking about buying a spiralizer … I saw one just the other day but wondered if it would work. (It was one of those where you have to do the work….) I’m going to have to do some online research it seems – and then I can prepare your recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not to worry, Cecile. I’m having trouble receiving a number of notifications myself. I’m forced to rely on my memory and that’s never a good thing. 🙂
      I’ve not tried the hand crank models but someone in an earlier comment said that she was thinking of replacing it with one like mine. Apparently, hers doesn’t hold fast to her table. That could make using it a bit tougher. I’m sure you’ll be able to get more info from the web to help with the decision. Good luck, my friend.

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      • As you may know, I’m planning to sell my beloved ‘yellow farmhouse’ next February – and just take some time to travel for a while. (I have a house in the Pocono mountains, so at least I won’t be ‘homeless’.) I’m hoping to come to Chicago so I can meet you and you can show me around – and – maybe we can even doing some cooking together!! ; o )

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  17. I bought the Kitchen Aid pasta attachments after your recommendation, John, and now I want this attachment, too! I’m glad I have a March birthday. I haven’t seen this spiralizer before, but I’m going to track it down and I am really quite excited about all the possibilities! I’m so glad you bought yourself a Christmas present. Do continue to share any interesting vegetable choices as you experiment. I’ll be so interested!

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    • Your wish is my command, Fair Lady. Next week I’ve got a butternut squash recipe and I’m working on a couple more “pasta” dishes and a tuna casserole. I’ve used all 4 blades on beets, sweet potatoes, baking potatoes, apples, and of course, zucchini and yellow squash. I’m working my way through the produce aisle one veg at a time. 🙂

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  18. When I saw the attachment for the mixer I really wanted it! I still haven’t gotten it though. Storage space is really an issue. In the meantime I’ll continue to use the mandolin for long thing strips. Your dish looks beautiful. That will be us in the summer hopefully when the garden is full of zucchini!

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    • I’m sure you’ll enjoy it, Gretchen, when you do get one. I’m having a ball experimenting with different veggies. Everything goes back into its box when not in use and that goes onto a shelf — with a bunch of pasta making equipment. All of which gets far more use than I’d care to admit. 🙂

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  19. I love the idea of using walnuts in pesto as pine nuts are so expensive and I have buckets of walnuts, if the mice leave me some! I’ve been considering a spyraliser but been put off with the manual machines due to reviews. A KitchenAid is on my far off wishlist but if maybe I’ll get lucky. The dish looks yummy and very pretty 🙂

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    • I’d love to have so many walnuts. All I’ve learned of the hand crank spiralizers I’ve learned here. My concern would be how difficult it would be to process squash. The KA attachment handles them with no problems. I’m still learning about it, though. Serving al dente zucchini noodles is not easy to accomplish and I’m too stubborn to let it go. 🙂

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  20. Sold! I’m all in. This looks much easier than a hand spiralizer. I love it. I know what I’m getting myself for my birthday this year. I too buy something for myself at Christmas and my birthday. My birthday will be here before Christmas. 😉 This looks absolutely delicious and perfectly healthy. You know my affinity for pasta, but the calories are rough (that too will be the only negative thing I ever say about it!). This will work like a charm – and with the pesto, the kids will LOVE it!

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    • I thought that you’d like this little gizmo. It is so easy to use, Kristy. You won’t believe how quickly you can assemble this pesto dish. Baked shoe string potatoes, both sweet and baking, are delicious! You are going to love it. Guaranteed!

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  21. What a nice kitchen toy you’ve got to play with… 😉 – I do like Zucchini and I like pasta of course but I’m not the one loving raw vegetables… It’s kind of a salad, no? – Happy spiralizing, John! But take care of your fingers…. as you mentioned “it will cut through just about anything” – sounds a bit dangerous….
    Here in Bavaria they do have a different kind of spiralizer (hand-operated) for the big white fresh radishes only. It’s a salty and juicy “side” to the beer in the beer gardens in summer or at “October Beer Fest”. You can google if you want (“bayerischer radi”) to get an idea by pictures…

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    • It is a toy, Irmi, all facts considered, but this toy feeds me. I debated calling this dish a salad and probably would have if I had successfully cooked zucchini noodles al dente. I’ve not mastered that yet — but I WILL!.
      I did google bayerischer radi. I’ve never seen radishes that large here. Perhaps one of the German markets may them this Summer. I would love to try them. Are they at all spicy? I will let you know if and when I do find them. I love a good quest. 🙂

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      • Yes, they are kind of big. My father sometimes grew them in his garden. They are comparably mild, the taste is similar to the little red ones. They have to be spiralized (or cut in fine peaces to expand the surface), salted generously, then given time to sit (we say, they must cry). – Yes, please tell me when you did find one. If you like to have a good beer sometimes they’re a good company as well as the small red ones too…
        I’ve seen white radishes that large at Japanese stores where they are cultiviated in salt brine, sold in plasitic wraps in all their length. They’re called Daikon – never tried them until now.

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        • Daikon is readily available here. I live in an area with many Asian markets. I wonder if daikon taste like your bayerischer radi? The only way to find out is to locate a German market this summer and do a taste test. 🙂

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  22. A manual spiralizer ‘fell’ into my basket when I was shopping for pre-move kitchen update items, however I’ve yet to try it. I’d love the zucchini noodles & pesto but the G.O. won’t eat zucchini even disguised as noodles, but potato curly tails, also beetroot & carrot salad would appeal.

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    • Those potato “curly tails” are the best, EllaDee. They are just as tasty as fried but so much healthier when baked. I’ve “spiralized” a few vegetables and fruits now, with varying degrees of success. I’ve yet to try carrots but they’re on the list. To be continued … 🙂

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  23. Oh, wow, wow, wow! Now I want a spiralizer just like yours since I also have a KitchenAid mixer. Such lovely noodles it makes. And the recipes sounds not only delicious, but fun. Only question is, do I have to wait until Christmas? Hmm, maybe just for a good sale.

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  24. I really like zucchini noodles. I’ve always enjoyed pasta but the starch/wheat hasn’t agreed with me, so having a zucchini version is the perfect alternative! Lovely to see how you used them. Pesto is the perfect sauce for such a fresh vegetarian dish! x

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    • Thanks,Laura, though I’m sorry to hear of your problems with starch and wheat. Yes,this certainly wold help you avoid those issues. Stay tuned. There are more recipes scheduled. Whether you buy a spiralizer, they may give you some recipe ideas for cooking without true pasta.

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  25. First, we call that a “To me, from me, love me” gift. I have to admit that I was worse that the September 1st folk. One year we finished in March! Now we just give our family gifts to their favorite charities – it’s a win-win. Now ALL the gifts we get at Christmas are for us!

    I have been vacillating on the spiralizer myself. I was hoping a friend would get one so that I could borrow it and give it a whirl. Literally. You might just have talked me into it…

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    • March?!?!? How ever did you accomplish that? I’m gob-smacked!
      It’s a great little gadget, David, but I’m still learning. I would have preferred to make this with cooked noodles but I’ve yet to master the technique of preparing zucchini noodles al dente. I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve not enough experience or haven’t used the correct technique. On the other hand, butternut squash make a great cooked pasta dish. I guess it’s like any addition to the kitchen. The more you use it, the more adept you become and the better the dish.

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    • Thanks, Fae. To tell you the truth, I was amazed at the calorie and carb content of just ONE ounce of dry spaghetti. The difference between the two noodle types is staggering. Now I need to perfect cooking the veggie noodles. I’ve had hit or miss luck but I’ll keep at it. 🙂

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  26. Looks good John, I skimmed the comments above in case someone mentioned it but I didn’t notice. It’ll add time to the process but salting the zoodles and allowing them to “weep” a bit in a colander is one way to address the excess moisture issue. I don’t have the one you have, just a peeler with a julienne blade. A bit more work but similar results. I look forward to more recipes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dave. I have tried salting thick cut noodles but not those cut thin like spaghetti. I’ve been pre-baking those and with some success. I’d like to try salting them and then using a hot sauce to dress them raw. That may render the best approximation of al dente. To be honest, I’m running out of options with zucchini, although I’ve had some good results with cooked butternut squash. Testing continues …

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  27. I must get into the spirit of buying myself a Christmas gift. Yes, no one likes to hear someone announce they’ve completed their Christmas shopping together with all the wrapping and gift tags attached with great big bows three months before Christmas. Those people are just nauseating. I much prefer the people who go around looking harried and frazzled right up until Boxing Day. This post is very timely as my daughter bought a spirilizer yesterday! She’s on one of those annoying carb-free diets where there’s no carbs after 5pm so she announced we’ll all be eating zucchini pasta from now on! Thanks for your recipe, I’ve taken notes and will give it a go xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nauseating is so right! They must not have children. Styles change so fast that what you buy in July will be hopelessly out-of-date by Christmas. I can already see the eye rolls when the gifts are unwrapped.
      This recipe is by far the easiest to prepare, Charlie. It’s almost a salad, really. I’m running into a bit of difficulty cooking zucchini so that it is al dente when served. I’ll get it. I’m far too stubborn to let it go. 🙂

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  28. Belated New Year Greetings, John.
    My life has been overtaken by events, but I still read your posts. Zoodles is what I should be eating for lunch. I don’t have a spiralizer and neither do I have a Kitchen aid…I would have love to try them. I wish you the best of 2016. Best wishes!

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    • I hope all’s well, Liz. I myself have cut back on my WP time, after taking a lengthy hiatus last year. I’m just now getting back in the groove.
      This little gizmo fits well into my current meal plan. I’m trying to cut back on the amount of meat that I eat and spiralized veggies are a big help.
      Hope 2016 has been, and will be, a good year for you, Liz, and your family. 🙂

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  29. Kitchen gadgets are such a magnet for me, but I don’t invest in them unless people I trust really endorse them. I’ve been thinking about a spiralizer for a while…you may have convinced me! Now all I have to do is find a spot where they can jam into my available space—the part of downsizing that makes it all work out properly. 😀
    xo
    K

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    • I, too, have a hard time passing a new gadget. I was doomed when this one went on sale. Drat! 🙂
      One good thing about it is that the box is meant to store the gizmo and all of its pieces. I’d have lost half of them by now without it. Now I just have to remember where I stored the box.

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  30. You’re about the third blogger I’ve seen with a spiralizer, which is creating great envy. I think this may be the tipping point for me…I may have to indulge in one. Your dish of zucchini noodles and pesto with walnuts sounds absolutely fantastic!

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    • Thanks, Betsy. I’m having fun “playing” with this thing. This pesto is really more like a salad but it’s darn good! I’ll be posting another recipe using butternut squash in a few hours and there are others on the way. Not everything has been successful, I must admit, but that’s the fun part. I enjoy trying to figure things out. Stay tuned … 🙂

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  31. I just love zucchini noodles, we have them all the time. I just have a simple hand held version because I didn’t realize there was an attachment for the stand mixer. I usually just nuke them a bit to hear them up. Love the walnut pesto too, just amazing flavours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, Eva. Last fall was the first time I saw the spiralizer attachment. It works very well, especially when you’re dealing with squash. I do not know how someone could process them by hand. One problem, however, with the attachment is that it doesn’t handle thin veggies very well. Carrots need to be pretty thick if they are to be used. I’ve yet to try them but have had problems with small zucchini and they were thicker than the carrots that I normally buy. One way or another, I’ll figure it out. Good thing I love carrots. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  32. I love my little hand spiralizer John. I am not sure if it would do squash but I am sure gonna try. All of these dishes look irresistible. You have got me here though because I have never heard of Spaghetti alla Gricia. Its such a shock tomatoes were brought to Italy. they sure took them into their lives!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Another fellow spiralizer! I really did not expect to like it as much as I do. I just had this pesto dish tonight for dinner again. It’s such an easy dish to prepare. I do hope, Tania, that your spiralizer can process butternut squash. They’re surprisingly delicious and make a wonderful noodle dish. Good luck!

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  33. Oh oh oh! What fun and delicious, too. I love Free shipping! Your thoughtful and thorough posts make it possible for others to emulate. Of course, I’m sharing it all around!

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    • Thanks, Ruth, I’m glad you like the recipe. I’m no expert but I think this dish would suit someone on the paleo diet. If not, it could be easily modified to suit it. This really is a tasty dish that you can throw together in less than 15 minutes — if you’ve got pest on hand. You cannot do much better than that. I prepare it often now but am sure I’ll make it more often once summer hits and “no cook” meals form a large part of my diet.

      Liked by 1 person

  34. Pingback: Zoodles with Fish and Eggplant Ragù (Tagliatelle di Zucchine al Ragu di Pesce e Melanzana) | Stefan's Gourmet Blog

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