Pasta, Pizza, Risotto, Vegan/Vegetarian

Penne with Zucchini, blossoms and Pesto

Nicoletta August 30, 2015

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Penne with zucchini, blossoms and pesto

Please don’t tell me you’re getting tired of recipes featuring zucchini. Not yet, we still have some more to post 🙂 .  Maybe your backyard or fridge is overflowing with zucchini too, so our recipes might actually be of some utility. We are trying to be as creative as possible and prepare these fantastic summer vegetable in any desirable way. And pasta is surely excellent in highlighting them at their best. I think I already told you how much I like color in my cooking and baking (and watercolor in my painting). These mixed zucchini, zucchini blossoms and pesto are perfect, for me, to paint a summer picture: a beautiful grassy field, yellow flowers swinging in the breeze, and the sun shining high in the sky. That is where my imagination brought me while looking at these colors. Then I envisioned these heavenly Penne with Zucchini, blossoms and Pesto. Here they come.

 

 

The pesto is our homemade. If you haven’t had the chance to make a batch, do it before summer ends when the basil is at its best. You will love it and will also love the countless ways to use it. The green zucchini is from our neighbour Connie’s garden, the yellow zucchini is from the Strathcona Farmer’s Market, the zucchini blossoms and onions are from Loreto’s parents’ backyard garden. Can you go more organic than that?

Penne with zucchini, blossoms and pesto

We love zucchini blossoms. We usually deep fried them in a tempura batter, but since one can’t  have too much deep fried food (although we love it), we put them on a pizza, or we combine them with other vegetables in a pasta dish.

penne with zucchini, blossoms and pestoPenne with zucchini, blossoms and pesto

Penne Zucchini, blossoms and Pesto is an easy pasta dish, and a quick one too. Onions sauteéd in avocado oil until golden and slightly crisp, mixed zucchini cut the way you want (cubes, strings, moon-shaped, half-moon shaped, you name it) following afterwards. I opted for a nice half-moon shape, that’s how I felt today 😉 . The blossoms, striped, just a bit later, since they are soft and cook fast.

penne with zucchini, blossoms and pesto

Cook them until you reach the desired consistency. I like my vegetables not crunchy at all, so I cook them quite a bit. I still struggle with the stir-fry a little, because of the vegetables that are not fully cooked (for me).

Penne with zucchini, blossoms and pesto

In the meantime cook the pasta, here I am imperative on the cooking time: pasta has to be “al dente“. Don’t drain your pasta, but use a slotted spoon to scoop it into the pan where the vegetables were cooking so that the sauce can coat the pasta and you can add some of the cooking water in case it’s too dry. Sprinkle some parmigiano while in the pan, it will melt a little and create a beautiful creaminess. Leave some more for the topping.

Penne with zucchini, blossoms and pesto

A nice dollop of pesto, some more parmigiano on top and why not, a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.  Mix it, then put that forkful in your mouth. The taste is heavenly, really.

Print

Penne with Zucchini, blossoms and Pesto

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic whole
  • 1/2 big zucchini (or 1 small)
  • 1/2 big yellow zucchini (or 1 small)
  • 6 zucchini blossoms, shredded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp pesto
  • 180 g penne
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano

Instructions

  1. Put a pot of salted water on boil.
  2. Drizzle avocado oil in a sauté pan, add chopped onion, garlic, and cook until onion is translucent.
  3. Add sliced zucchini, and sauté for few minutes, then add the shredded zucchini blossoms. Cook vegetables until desired tenderness, about 10 minutes, then remove the garlic whole.
  4. While vegetables are cooking, put pasta into the boiling salted water and cook for the required time as per package instructions.
  5. Drain pasta and toss into sauté pan with vegetables and sprinkle with some of the grated parmigiano. Mix well so the pasta is coated with the vegetable “sauce”.
  6. Place in bowl and add a dollop of pesto on top. Sprinkle some more parmigiano and serve.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 servings
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Penne with zucchini, blossoms and pesto

This is where I take inspiration…I love flowers and macro photography is one of my passions…

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