Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Penne Pasta with Zucchini Pistou

Penne with Zucchini Pistou

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided  
  • 6 quarts water
  • 2 ½ cup zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch-thick
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves 
  • ½ cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (or other nuts), toasted
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion 
  • ½ teaspoon fresh 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; cool.
  2. Place ½ cup cooked zucchini, basil, ¼ 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. Combine 6 quarts water and 1 teaspoon salt in 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.
  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 and enjoy!  

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