Today’s recipe is a light pasta lunch, perfect for Spring with fresh, lemon zest, and (of course) plenty of parmesan and olive oil. It has plenty of veggies too; spiralised courgette, baby spinach, black olives and baby plum tomatoes. It’s vegetarian, and makes the perfect amount for a single serving! It’s quick and easy too, all coming together in around 20 minutes.
I Thought it was about time I work on more Spring recipes to make use of all the fresh fruits and veggies that are almost in season. Hence this pasta with plenty of freshness. It also makes a lovely light lunch without even turning the oven on, which is perfect for the Summer. After all, who wants to turn the oven on when its already a million degrees outside?
This is also the first recipe on my blog to make use of a spiralizer! I chose to use a mixture of spiralised courgette and pasta as sadly our spiraliser is missing the smallest blade. Therefore, I actually ended up with something resembling courgette pappardelle. This actually seemed to make it a little easier to twirl around the fork though, so it all worked out!
One thing that does bug me about spiralised courgette is how Americans call it ‘zoodles’ with zucchini being the courgette. However, I firmly believe that courgetti spaghetti is a much better name and refuse to refer to it as zoodles now. I encourage everyone else to do the same (and hey, if the funny name makes your kids more willing to try it then bonus points!).
I did choose to stick to whole wheat spaghetti to keep this as healthy as possible (while still using about a gallon of olive oil and a whole block of parmesan…). However, you could just as easily use regular spaghetti or stick solely to courgetti spaghetti! Using the courgette won’t only make it healthier too, it’ll also speed up the cooking time dramatically as you don’t need to boil a pan of water etc – just cook them through in a pan with olive oil and you’re good to go!
Finally, a quick thank you to everyone who entered the recipe request competition! I have ideas for the 3 winners, but it may be a couple of weeks until any are published. After all, I have to make sure the recipes fit your guidelines, taste perfect, and look great in photos! If you’d like email notifications for whenever I next run a contest (as well as getting notified of new posts), you can sign up here.
Light Olive Oil Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Courgette
- 50 grams spaghetti regular or whole wheat
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 small red onion
- 1 clove garlic crushed or minced
- 2/3 courgette spiralised
- 25 grams baby spinach
- 1 pinch chilli flakes adjust to taste
- 8 black olives pitted
- 8 baby plum tomatoes halved
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan
- 1 sprig basil chopped
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp pine nuts
- salt and pepper to season
- Place spaghetti in a pot of boiling salted water. In a separate pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium low heat.
- Once hot, add the red onion and garlic, and sauté gently for 3-5 minutes until softened. Add the baby spinach and courgette.
- Once the spinach is wilted, the spaghetti should be cooked. Drain and add to the pan. Add the tomatoes, olives and chilli flakes, as well as the other 2 tbsp olive oil and the grated parmesan.
- Once all ingredients are cooked through and combined, remove from heat and stir in the basil, lemon zest and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, garnishing with any leftover basil, parmesan, lemon zest and pine nuts.
If you’re looking for more light veggie lunch recipes, try this orzo pasta salad. It has similar flavours, but is also suitable for taking to work or school! Or, for a slightly more filling vegetarian lunch, try these chargrilled veggie & halloumi wraps.