Mary Sweeting tells us how to make an energy boosting courgette 'pasta' with pesto and asparagus spears

If you tend to feel sluggish after your spaghetti, this zucchini 'pasta' dish will leave you with boundless energy from all its phytonutrient-rich greens.

As with any pasta, you've got to cook the veg just right (al dente is best) and serve it with a sumptuous sauce or you may as well stay at home; the pesto sauce is the key here to sending your taste buds into orbit.

I also dressed this with some freshly steamed asparagus spears, extra pine nuts and sesame seeds to add some crunch as well as healthy fats.


2 medium zucchini/courgettes

Freshly steamed asparagus spears to garnish


1. Boil some well salted water in a pan. Add the asparagus spears for 1-2 minutes.

2. Using a potato peeler, hold one end of the zucchini and peel lengthways, trying to keep some green colour of the skin on each ribbon, turning the zucchini in quarters to do this.

2. Add the ribbons to the asparagus and water and place a lid over the top for 1 minute. Test the ribbons and try to serve al dente (as you would do normal pasta!). The bonus is that it won't take long at all to cook.

3. Serve drizzled with the pesto below and garnished with some extra seeds, nuts, olive oil and black pepper. You could also garnish with soaked hazelnuts.

Pesto sauce (dairy free)

1 large handful fresh basil leaves

1/2 handful sunflower seeds, soaked for at least 1hour

1/2 handful pine nuts, soaked for at least 1hr

1/2 cup olive oil

3 garlic cloves

Plenty of salt and pepper

1/4 cup water

1. Whizz all the above in a blender and season to taste. Couldn't be easier!

- Mary Sweeting writes about gluten-free and healthy food at