Cooking / Mains / Recipe Index / Sides

Carrot “Pasta” with Creamy Pesto

By now, we’re all familiar with zoodles, zucchini that’s cut in the shape of spaghetti to fool us into being healthy.  But zucchini is not the only veggie that can get the pasta treatment; in fact, carrots work quite well as a sub for spaghetti.

carrot pasta with creamy pesto1

Use a mandolin to slice 5 carrots into ribbons and set aside.  This will give you a pappardelle shape.  OR you could use frozen spiralized carrot from Trader Joe’s.  What?!  Game changer.  Now make a pesto by combining 3/4 c. basil leaves, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, salt, and pepper in a food processor. As it’s processing, slowly add in 1/3 c. olive oil.  OR buy store-bought pesto.  That’s what I did because I was feeling lazy last week.  Either works.

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Stick some halved grape tomatoes in the oven at 400 degrees and roast until their wrinkly (20 minutes).  In the meantime, start sauteing regular button mushrooms (sliced) in a pan.  When they’re almost done, add your carrots and allow them to soften (or thaw/warm through if you’re going the frozen Trader Joe’s route like I did).

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Once your veggies are softened and hot, stir in a few tablespoons of the pesto.  Now it’s time to make it a creamy pesto.  Simply add some fat free half and half until it looks creamy and delicious.  The half and half also helps stretch the sauce without much guilt.

carrot pasta with creamy pesto4  Remove from the heat, add some of the roasted grape tomatoes, and top with some fresh parm.   The carrots and tomatoes are naturally sweet and the parmesan really helps balance it out.  (Sorry, I forgot to snap a pic with the parm.)

carrot pasta with creamy pesto5

This is a great side dish or main course if you add grilled chicken.  It doesn’t look quite as pretty because green pesto on orange carrots looks a little kooky, but it tastes yummy for sure.  And since it’s virtually cheese free with zero real pasta, it’s pretty healthy.  Perfect for maintaining that summer bod.  Ugh please save me from bikini season.

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