Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
Total Time
45 Mins
4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups pasta and 1 tablespoon cheese)

How to Make It

Step 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; cool.

Step 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.)

Step 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.

Step 4

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.

Step 5

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.

Ratings & Reviews

Not that great

May 19, 2015
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.

madjack96's Review

October 07, 2014
While the end dish was good, this is not a quick meal to make. There are also better pesto dishes out there. If you do make it, use 1 cup pasta water as the sauce was dry with 1/2 cup.

sprky182's Review

Hong Kong Chef
August 02, 2012
I liked this but I like regular pesto better. Good for a change of pace but I probably won't make it again.

Megan521's Review

July 22, 2012
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."

JessicaLuu's Review

September 20, 2011
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.

hawaii101's Review

July 07, 2011
The garlic was to strong for my taste so I simmered the pasta after it was all put together and it the bitter garlic taste was gone. Perfect!

allisonjessee's Review

March 16, 2011
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.

tejaksw's Review

September 12, 2010
Well ---- This has potential. Not enough flavor. This is DEFINITELY not a main dish -- use it for a side. But it needs more flavor somewhere -- maybe more basil???

Invncblesmile85's Review

August 20, 2010

claresoko's Review

August 18, 2010
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.