Raw zucchini pasta + red pepper pesto

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As summer hovers near and the optimistic spring sun creeps out from behind the clouds, lighter dinners and fresh local veg become increasingly called for on bright garden evenings.

And when time (and funds) might be in short suppluly, nothing hits the spot more perfectly than this modern riff on our Italian staple, spaghetti. Purely plant-based and so quick to spiralise, courgette noodles lend themselves easily and forgivingly to almost any flavour. And when I whipped this vegan red pepper sundried tomato pesto up last year at Pura Vida Social Club, it just clicked perfectly. No recipe, a jam packed blender and red oil everywhere… my favourite, fastest and most striking raw dish was born.

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We all know why we should sub veggies for carbs and I won’t bore you with the blurb here. The vegan pesto is the real excitement: macadamias, almonds and nutritional yeast more than make up for parmesan and keep it super healthy to boot.

I try to ration how often I make it for fear of falling, as I so often do, into a culinary rut. But it’s like crack and we actually just can’t stop.

The only option now is to eat it until we get bored and there’s no knowing how long that will take. Even then, whacking in some black olives and chilli could buy us another year or two… and it goes with anything which is how I like things in my kitchen.

Rosé is an optional accompaniment but highly recommended.

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Serves 3

Ingredients:

4 large courgettes

Pesto:

1 red pepper

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 small clove garlic

1 cup almonds

1/2 cup macadamias (or more almonds)

8 sundried tomatoes

5 tbsp cold-pressed olive or hemp oil

Salt and black pepper to season

To make the pesto, pulse all the ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth but still a little chunky. Seaosn to taste, and add more oil if you need.

To make the spaghetti, too and tail then spiralise or julienne the courgettes into long noodley strips.

Mix just before serving with a sprinkle of cracked black pepper.

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