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.