Zucchini Pesto and Pasta

Hi friends– If you have a friend with a vegetable garden, chances are they’ve brought you a bag of zucchini by now.  So here’s a new way to cook it up for dinner in a garlicky pesto for a tasty veggie dinner.

3 medium zucchini, chopped into chunks
1/3 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
olive oil
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup parmigiano cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts (or walnuts)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped fine
8 oz. of your favorite pasta (we used small shells)
1/4 cup cream of half & half
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Start the water for the pasta (with a splash of olive oil and a shake of salt).  Then sauté the chunks of zucchini in a large pan with a tablespoon or so of olive oil.  Just cook a few minutes until they are tender, but firm.  Remove them from the pan and cook the onion until it’s soft and remove from the pan too.  Wipe out the cooked oil from the pan and return the zucchini, onion and the red pepper to the pan without heat for now. Start the pasta cooking.

To make the pesto, take 1/4 cup of the zucchini, basil leaves, garlic, parmesan and pine nuts–plus 1/2 cup water from the pasts pot. Grind this all up with a stick blender or food processor.  Scrape the pesto over the zucchini, onion and pepper to warm it.  Stir in the cream and pepper.   Then layer the drained pasta on a platter and spoon over the zucchini and sauce.  Garnish with shreds of parmesan and a sprig of basil.


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