Meatless Monday – Penne with Zucchini ‘Pesto’

A unique twist on a classic pesto – and a great way to utilize some of your summer zucchini! Serve with a salad and some cheesy bread for a complete meal!


4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 1/2 cups slices small zucchini
1 cup packed basil
1/2 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups chopped sweet onion
8 oz uncooked penne pasta
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender and golden. Remove from pan and cool.
2. Place 1/4 cup cooked zucchini, basil, 1/4 cup cheese, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor; process until finely chopped. (Keep mixture in processor.)
3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 10 minutes or until golden. Return remaining cooked zucchini to pan. Remove from heat.
4.Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain in a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1/3 cup cooking liquid. Add pasta to vegetables.
5. With processor on, add reserved liquid to basil mixture; process until smooth. Add basil mixture to pasta. Add cream and pepper, stir. Top with remaining cheese.

Yield: 4 servings (420 calories, 17.2 g total fat, 6.1 g saturated fat, 13.9 g protein, 52.9 g carbohydrate, 3.4 g fiber, 29 mg cholesterol)

Cooking Light, July 2010



Filed under Nourish the Body

4 responses to “Meatless Monday – Penne with Zucchini ‘Pesto’

  1. I love having pasta on meatless Mondays… your spin on pesto looks so good!

  2. Sounds perfect for me! A great idea using zucchini for pesto. I know I would love this.

    • I know my garden is always overflowing with zucchini.. this is a nice way to mix it up! I also love shredding it into salads, a stir fry, and even pasta dishes!

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