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Pasta comes in all shapes and sizes, you know. In fact, according to recent stats, there exist thousands and thousands of different cuts of the precious and delicious semolina sensation.

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Although most pasta doughs all contain the same simple and basic ingredients, the shape of the noodles all create different vehicles for selective sauces and accompaniments. The texture, shape, and size of the pasta drastically affects the flavor as well. Angel hair, or capellini, tastes far less flavorful and sits on the tongue dramatically differently when doused with spicy arrabbiata sauce, as opposed to the well-formed ridges and hollow cavities to soak up the savory and fearsome spices with penne rigate. A thick and hearty meat sauce is carried so nicely atop the “little ears” of orecchiette pasta, but would never be suitable for the likes of fettuccine, which we all know opens up a host of opportunity for creamy alfredo sauce.

In any case, the “tagliatelle” pasta is long and ribbon-like in shape, very similar to the fettuccine. It can be served with an array of sauces and soaks up flavor incredibly well.

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Thus, a grain-free version of our beloved pasta, “zoodles” in this case, made from fresh zucchini, and topped with a refreshing lemon-basil pesto-vinaigrette, came out of my kitchen most recently.

Welcome spring.

Lemon Basil Tagliatelle

Serves 1

1 large zucchini, “noodled” – using the middle blade of a spiralizer creates the long and rather thick “tagliatelle” texture desired

1 cup fresh basil
juice of 1 large lemon
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
plenty of sea salt and pepper

In a high speed blender, combine the basil, lemon, vinegar, oil, and salt and pepper. Process until smooth and creamy. Toss your desired portion (this pesto-vinaigrette will leave you with plenty of leftovers) with the zucchini tagliatelle and enjoy.

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Throw in some sliced grilled chicken, if so desired…and even top the dish off with some sharp and tangy feta cheese!

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