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Zucchini pesto pasta salad is a summer dish perfect for a family dinner. Is full of flavours and easy to make. Prepare it in advance for you meatless monday!
When zucchini are in season is easy to find the inspiration to make the perfect dish using healthy ingredients. This cold pasta is the perfect example why I do like summer vegetables.
I came up with the idea of making this pasta after my husband told me that we were eating mexican, thai, indian, japanese and every other country’s food for two weeks straight. Yeah…sometimes I forget about that, until I see him he’s really craving some pasta or roman traditional dishes.
Since I had also a handful of almonds sitting in my pantry, I though would be a nice idea just throw everything in a blender and make some easy-whatever-pesto. And oh boy! it came out pretty delicious that here I am sharing the recipe.
How to make the zucchini and arugula pesto
Of course, I didn’t completely invented the zucchini pesto. Actually this kind of pesto is pretty common lately here in Italy. But I made my own version using almonds instead of pine nuts. And also cooked the zucchini in olive oil instead of adding them raw how is normally common.
I could say that the almonds added a nice touch and I am sure this pesto can be made also with other kind of nuts.
Tips for zucchini pesto pasta
Make the pasta ahead of time. You can make this dish one or two days before consuming it. Just be sure to coat it pretty well and then put it in a airtight container. Place it in the fridge until you need it. Then allow it to reach room temperature before eating it.
Store your pesto. Pesto can be made also ahead of time, even for 4-5 days. Just put in a jar and drizzle with olive oil to cover the surface. Seal close and place in the fridge. You can also make a large batch of this pesto and use it along the week by just adding a little olive oil on top every time you get some from the jar.
More summer recipes
Zucchini pesto pasta
- 400 gr short pasta
- 200 gr mozzarella cheese cut in cubes
- 200 gr zucchini half-moon sliced
- 20 gr arugula roughly chopped
- 10 gr basil leaves
- 50 gr almonds toasted and peeled
- 20 gr parmigiano reggiano grated
- 1 garlic clove peeled
- extra virgin olive oil
- In a frying pan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and sprinkle with salt. Sauté until tender. Divide zucchini in two portions and allow to cool.
- Place one portion of zucchini onto a food processor. Add arugula, basil, almonds, garlic and parmigiano reggiano. Start processing the ingredients while adding slowly some olive oil until you see evetything is combined in a creamy and soft pesto. Adjust salt to your tasting and set aside.
- Cook pasta al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and add it to a large bowl.
- Add pesto to the pasta and coat evenly. Set aside until pasta reach room temperature.
- Add remaining zucchini to the pasta bowl, mozzarella cubes and some hand-torn basil leaves. Give it a good mix and serve or store in fridge.