This particular creation developed from a random thought about zucchini ribbons, coupled with a desire to use up other ingredients we had on hand. I had full intention of adding some leftover cheddar to the pesto when I started, but once I tasted how good it was on its own (slivered almonds have no skin, ridding them of bitterness, and the extra step of toasting ups the depth of flavor, pushing the nuts towards sweet), I didn’t want to change a thing. We’re calling the sauce a pesto alfredo sauce because the resulting mixture was such a creamy, faux-cheesy combination, alfredo was the thing that came to mind. —Shanna Mallon
Begin by chopping off the ends of your zucchini and peeling off the skins.
To create the zucchini ribbons, pull out your mandoline (or, you may use a peeler or even, very carefully, a knife, to create the same idea; the size of your ribbons will just be different). Place one zucchini at a time on the cutting board and slice off rustic ribbons that run the length of the vegetable, turning the zucchini and working around it as you go. When you get to the center, you may have a little nubbin left over; you may eat it, add it to the ribbons, or use in something else.
Place the zucchini ribbons in a colander set over the sink. Once all the ribbons are cut, salt the top of the pile and let it sit, draining slowly, while you continue working.
Set a sauté pan on the stove and add 1/2 cup of slivered almonds. Warm over medium-low heat until toasted.
In a food processor, combine 1/2 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds, chopped parsley, lemon juice, grated garlic cloves and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Blend until well mixed and similar to the texture of a pesto. Add up to another 1/4 cup olive oil; blend. Taste, and adjust for salt if desired.
Run the colander of zucchini ribbons under cool water to rinse; dab dry with paper towels.
Place zucchini ribbons in large bowl and add pesto alfredo sauce. Toss thoroughly to cover ribbons.
To serve, garnish zucchini with chopped parsley and crushed red pepper flakes, as desired.