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Courgetti al Pesto

Happy New Year! May this New Year be full of love, laughter and light for each and every one of you! I've just spent a few weeks back home with the family and Olly, and it has been so good to get some time off from everything, disconnect from work and spend quality time with loved ones. It was a necessary break from an exciting and exhilarating 2015! Now ready to take on 2016 with even more vigour, zest and energy! 
So here's a simple and delicious recipe to start the year off. Some of you may have caught a glimpse of it on my social media channels or maybe in this article about the 6 health food trends that are sure to be huge this year! This plate of courgetti al pesto is my go-to quick meal when I don't have much time to prepare an elaborate meal. For those of you who don't know about SPIRALISING, I am about to blow your mind. For those of you who already know about spiralising, you know what I'm talking about!
A spiraliser is originally a Japanese invention using razor sharp blades to create thin ribbons of vegetables in minutes. The pasta in this dish is actually a courgette cut into thin strands that I like to call "courgetti" as it looks and feels just like spaghetti except naturally gluten-free and it's more nutritious and much quicker to make. You can use a spiraliser to spiralise courgettes (or carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, daikon, beetroot, celeriac) into beautiful pasta-like spirals. It's so much fun and very easy! Kids absolutely love spiralising so get them involved in the process too!  You can buy a spiraliser online for very reasonable prices ranging around £30 or if you live in London, pop in to see us at 13-15 Golborne Road and buy one from us. 
Courgetti forms the basis of many of our meals as it's so simple, beautiful and nutritious. It goes well with a gorgeous homemade tomato ragu, Asian style stir fry and it's also delicious with this leftover greens pesto. This simple pesto recipe uses whatever leftover greens you have in the fridge demonstrating that pesto doesn't have to contain basil and pine nuts, which is what makes pesto very expensive to make. So I use any greens like spinach, kale, broccoli, parsley, coriander, leeks for example... So here is my little Pesto is the Besto formula: 
Bain-Marie's "Pesto is the Besto"
Greens + Nuts + Olive Oil + Sea Salt + Garlic + Lemon Juice
Not only is this pesto vegan, it is absolutely delicious and keeps for a week in the fridge. Hope you enjoy making and eating this recipe as much as I do! And welcome to the world of transforming vegetables into pasta and making 5-minute pestos! If you are not ready to commit to a spiraliser yet, then you can just buy a julienne peeler for about £5, and it works a charm! Though you won't get the beautiful spirals like in the above image, you will get beautiful strands. Stay tuned for many more spiralised recipes in 2016. 
Spiralised salutes to you, 
Courgetti al Pesto
Serves 2 
Pesto Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of greens (spinach, kale, broccoli, basil, coriander, parsley)
  • 1 cup of nuts (I like cashews best)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • pinch of sea salt
  • juice of half lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast (optional)
Pasta Ingredients:
  • 2 courgettes, spiralised (1 courgette per person)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1. Place all pesto ingredients in a high speed processor and blend until a smooth pesto has formed. Adjust to taste. Depending on what consistency you prefer you may need to add more olive oil. 
2. Spiralise your courgettes using a spiraliser or julienne peeler. 
3. Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice into the spiralised courgettes and massage with your hands. The heat from your hands and the acidity of the lemon juice will soften the courgettes slightly (in winter months, you can even gently pan fry the courgetti in a pan to warm them up and soften them). 
4. Dress with some pesto and mix throughout! 
5. Enjoy!