Pesto Shirataki Pasta: With Radish Greens
One thing I miss about eating a “regular” diet is a fresh bowl of pasta. With my Italian roots, I’m used to eating pasta on a weekly basis, so it definitely took a major lifestyle change to omitting pasta from my diet. While I still haven’t found the perfect low-carb pasta substitute, shirataki noodles are a great alternative, but they’re not for everyone! You may have an aversion to the texture. It’s not at all like pasta: it’s a very fibrous, and snappy texture, actually made from konjac yams.
That aside, I personally don’t mind it and it helps with my pasta cravings. My point is, I don’t recommend you try these with the expectation of it tasting like pasta because it doesn’t. However, this is the best are the best low carb alternative I can find.
Friendly Tip: Check the labels before buying low carb pasta.
You may see many of them at the store or online, but even at that, they still contain far too many carbs for a keto diet. I’m talking 20-35 per serving, no thanks! However, if anyone finds a better alternative to past, let me know in the comments!
Now, I want to discuss the benefit of radish greens. I know that most of us like to heavily incorporate radish to our diet, but what do we do with the tops? We throw them away! If you harvest the tops soon after you buy the radish you can actually use them for many recipes, including pesto. I will post more recipes in the future for uses with radish tops, but for now, enjoy!
- Two bunches of radish tops
- Washed EXTREMELY well
- 10 medium basil leaves
- If you omit the radish tops use one bunch of kale
- You can also substitute with spinach or other leafy greens
- 1/4 C parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream (Optional for macros)
- 1/4 C raw pine nuts
- If you can find already toasted, omit the first step.
- 1/4 C Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 package of fettuccini shirataki noodles
- or any low to no carb noodle
To begin, toast pine nuts in a saute pan until they are golden brown and let off a nutty aroma. Once toasted, place pine nuts in a food processor along with parmesan, basil, radish tops, garlic, and seasonings, and pulse until a coarse paste is achieved. Once blended, add the olive oil and pulse to emulsify ingredients. Set aside.
Next, empty the package of shirataki noodles in a strainer and rinse continuously with warm water for approximately 5 minutes. I recommend mixing the noodles with your hand or a spoon to make sure they are thoroughly rinsed. I know this seems excessive, but the shirataki are a little pungent and this helps cut down on the taste and smell. While the noodles are rinsing, take a medium sized saucepan and bring water to a boil. Once water has boiled, and once the noodles have been thoroughly rinsed, place the noodles in the saucepan and boil for approximately 5 minutes.
I personally find that the texture of the noodles is much improved when you cook it for a little longer: Start with 5 minutes and adjust to your liking.
Once noodles are cooked, remove from heat and strain. Add noodles back into the saucepan and add the desired amount of pesto on a low heat for one to two minutes to allow flavors to meld. For additional flavor, let sit for an additional five minutes once off the heat.
Serve and enjoy!