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Courgette 'pasta' with kale, basil and sun-dried tomato pesto

06 October 2015

‘Courgetti’, or raw courgette shredded into strands like spaghetti, is exceptionally good – especially when it is teamed with a punchy basil pesto. This nutrient-packed raw veg dish is just as flavoursome as its more familiar pasta-based alternative.

Courgette 'pasta' with kale
Courgette 'pasta' (courgetti) withkale, basil and sun-dried tomato pesto

Preparation time

15 minutes




  • 4 medium courgettes 
  • 40g raw almonds 
  • 40g kale, roughly chopped, tough stalks discarded 
  • 40g basil leaves, plus a few extra to serve 
  • 8 sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil), rehydrated in warm water for 10 minutes 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 100g baby plum tomatoes, halved 
  • Freshly ground black pepper


To make the ‘pasta’, shred the courgettes using a julienne peeler to create strands, or a regular vegetable peeler to form ribbons. Set aside in a large bowl.

Put the almonds in a food processor and pulse until they have broken up into smaller pieces. Add the kale, basil, drained tomatoes and lemon juice and pulse again to create a thick paste. 

Add the olive oil and blend again. If the mixture is a little thick, add 1 tbsp or so of cold water.

Stir the pesto through the courgette ‘pasta’ with the baby plum tomatoes and serve scattered with plenty of black pepper and a few extra basil leaves.

Avoiding wheat?

Try this appealing wheat-free ‘pasta’ dish that’s packed with flavour. For anyone with coeliac disease, wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity, food choices are limited, unless you pay over the odds for ‘gluten-free’ alternatives, which are typically higher in fat due to product flavour modifications used to compensate for the removal of gluten. Gluten is found in so many products – bread, cereals, pasta, pizza and soy sauce, to name but a few. The innovative use of vegetables can help to make a gluten-free diet that much more interesting.

Recipe extracted from The Breast Cancer Cookbook by Professor Mohammed Keshtgar (Quadrille £20) Photography: Jan Baldwin.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.