2 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices small zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
1 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion (about 1 large)
6 quarts water
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
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; cool.
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.)
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.
Combine 6 quarts water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. 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.
With processor on, add reserved liquid to basil mixture; process until smooth. Add basil mixture to pasta. Add cream, remaining salt, and pepper; stir. Top with remaining cheese.
This recipe was a bit disappointing. We love basil, and zucchini is high on our list of veggies, but this was just too plain-tasting. Just tasted bland. Made our tastebuds wonder where was all the yummy stuff that we had cooked up.Won't make again.
This is delicious! My husband isn't a fan of pesto usually, but he loved this dish. He requested to put it in the "regular rotation. Several people noted a strong garlic taste -- mine didn't have that, but I used the pre-chopped, jarred garlic in juice."
I followed the recipe exactly, and this tasted like a big bowl of raw garlic and onion. When I reheated it the next day for leftovers it was better, because the garlic and onion cooked in the microwave, but it was still very overwhelming, and I love garlic. Definitely a one note dish.
We thought this was very good. The sauce was delicious, and I liked that there were still pieces of zucchini in the pasta (not just the pistou). We served it with a side salad and bread. The raw garlic flavor was a little strong for me, but you expect that with this type of dish, and my husband didn't mind it at all.
Wonderful, filling recipe and I was able to make on a weeknight with some careful orchestration. I started boiling the water for the pasta and preheating the oven for the pine nuts as the pan for the zuccini was heating. Once the zuccini and onions were cooked the rest came together quickly. Like others I cut back on the garlic to just 1 large clove. I'll defintely make the dish again and try adding left over chicken.
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