Monday, March 21, 2011

Rotini With Zucchini And Cannellini In Parsley Walnut Pesto

Here's a pasta dish I put together on a Meatless Monday a few weeks ago.  A quick meal using up what was available in my kitchen that day.

Julienne the zucchini about the length of the rotini and saute in a little olive oil for a few minutes until crispy tender, not mushy.  Season with a little salt and pepper if you'd like.


Boil one pound of Rotini and start making the pesto.

Pesto:  I didn't have basil or pine nuts on hand, so I used parsley and walnuts. I browsed around to check my portions while I made this, and liked this recipe,  Mine varies a little. 

In a food processor, add 1/2 cup olive oil (I used extra virgin olive oil), 3/4 cup walnuts. Pulse a few times, then blend in 2 cups torn parsley leaves, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste, fresh lemon juice (from half a lemon), pulse to blend and adding up to about 1/2 cup of pasta water (or oil if preferred) as needed to achieve desired consistency. 

After draining the pasta, mix in pesto, zucchini, and a can of drained cannellini beans for added protein.

While mixture sits a few minutes to build flavors, brush olive oil onto slices of Italian bread and toast under a broiler.  Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and rub toasts with garlic.  Slice and serve with pasta. 

With a potato peeler, shave fresh parmesan cheese over the top.  Season to taste and serve it up.


  1. LOVE pesto with walnuts and parsley! It is much more affordable than pine nuts. (But those are good too!) :) This looks beautiful, healthy, and delicious.

  2. 5 Star Foodie Junior and I love the title of this dish! It sounds delicious, especially with the walnut parsley pesto, nice flavors!

  3. What a great use of zucchini! I definitely need to save this recipe for the summer when I we eat a ton of it.

  4. I like how you mixed up the pesto with some different nuts. Pine nuts can be a bit pricey, so some other alternatives are fantastic.

  5. Oh, my kids love, love cannellini beans. I forget you can throw them in just about anything. Great recipe - the walnut pesto sounds delish.
    I'm still waiting for my invite... ;)

  6. Hi Lin, greetings from California. Thanks for adding me as a friend on FB. I stopped by to visit your blog. Your cannelini looks marvelous. I am a dad, husband and family therapist and i enjoy writing about food but with a relationship twist. Please visit my blog. Maybe leave a comment. Maybe Follow. Thanks. I look forward to reading your posts

  7. Thanks everyone! I can't believe the price of pine nuts now! We always have walnuts around for a snack and staple. Cannellini too is always in the cupboard, one of our favorite beans.

    Mario, I'm looking forward to reading your blog!

  8. And, yes, a great way to use up those zucchini's this summer!

  9. That's what I'm talking about!!! A go to dish that has everything in each and every bite!!!

    Definitely a keeper, Lin Ann!

    Thank you so much for sharing...

    Hope your daughter had a blast!!!

  10. I really like spinach and walnut pesto. Basil's great and so are pine nuts. But's it's really the cheese and oil that give it the flavor. Beautiful dish.

  11. Love the parsley-walnut combo in place of the usual basil. Great idea. Looks delicious!

  12. Isn't it great when you can make a fabulous meal from what's in your kitchen? You certainly did that!!! YUM.

  13. My entire family loves pesto! When can we come for dinner? Delicious recipe for a meatless meal. Nice Job!

  14. Kedves Lin
    Ez a tészta ízletesnek néz ki. Ha van időm, megnézem a blogodat. Gratulálok hozzá, és kérlek, hogy nézd meg az én blogomat, mert szeretnék adni neked egy Díjat.

    Dear Lin
    This pasta looks delicious. If I have time, I'll look your blog. Congratulation to it, and please look my blog, because I would like to give you an Award.

  15. Thanks so much everyone! It is great using up what's available. I always tell my kids to do that too when they can't find food -- look again, I say!

    Hayley did have a blast and she may ski again this weekend, more snow coming up north!

    I love basil pesto too, especially in the summer when I have plenty of it in the garden.

    Thanks for the award, Foodafok! I'll head on over and get it and hope to write about it this weekend, and include my other awards (in my Awards page) which I haven't formerly written about yet!!!


  16. Oh, and spinach! Love spinach pesto. I even tried kale once, when I had an abundance from the CSA, but wasn't too crazy about. I prefer kale cooked I guess.

  17. Hi Lin-Love your rotini with the zucchini, and this is my kind of bread that I love to eat mostly.
    So nice to find what we have in our cupboards, and fridge, and not have to make a special trip to the store, just to try a new recipe!

  18. Un guiso muy rico y saludable ,lleno de vitaminas me encanta,los zuchini son mis preferidos,me quedo en tu blog,me gustan tus recetas ,cariños y abrazos.

  19. "A very rich and healthy dish, full of vitamins me
    love, the zucchini are my favorites, I'm in your
    blog, I like your recipes, affection and hugs."

    Thank you so much Rosita!