(Recipe can be found here on the Cooking Light site here.)
Step by Step Instructions:
For this pasta dish, the following ingredients are called for: Extra Virgin Olive Oil, about 2 cups of Vidalia or Sweet Onion chopped, Penne Pasta, Heavy Cream (or if you’re like me, you’ll forget this ingredient in the end), Salt, Pepper, 2 1/2 cups (about 3/4 lb.) Zucchini, 1 cup of packed Basil Leaves, 4 cloves of Garlic chopped (or less garlic would be good too), 2 oz. of shaved parmesan cheese, and 2 Tablespoons of toasted Pine Nuts (I used toasted Walnuts because I had them on hand).
The first step is to get a skillet and heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the zucchini for about 5 minutes or until they begin to get tender a brown a touch.
Once browned, transfer the zucchini to a dish and let them cool. At this point, you can also boil about 6 quarts of salted water for the pasta.
Once the zucchini is cooled, add 1/4 cup of zucchini, 1/4 cup of shaved parmesan cheese, the basil, garlic, and walnuts to a food processor.
Process the ingredients until they are finely chopped.
Then put the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a pan over medium heat and sauté the chopped onions for about 10 minutes or until they are golden in color. At this time go ahead and cook your pasta according to the package directions, so that the pasta finishes cooking just after the onions are done.
Remove the onions from the heat and add the remaining cooked zucchini to the skillet.
I transferred the cooked pasta to the large skillet with the onions and zucchini using a spider utensil to scoop and drain the pasta simultaneously, while also reserving the pasta water.
Then I added 1/3 cup of pasta water to the food processor with the zucchini and basil mixture and ran it until it created a sauce.
This sauce gets added to the pasta and mixed together. You can also add the 1/4 cup of heavy cream at this time, if you have a better memory than I do. I’m sure it would be delightful! Then toss all of the ingredients together and serve. I topped the pasta with some of the shaved cheese I reserved, and voila, dinner is complete! It would be really delicious with some protein (chicken breast, fish fillet, or pork chop sounds delightful) if you have some on hand. Enjoy!!
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 1/2 cups (1/4-inch-thick) slices small zucchini (about 3/4 pound)
1 cup packed basil leaves
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 cups chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion (about 1 large)
6 quarts water
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender and golden. Remove from pan; cool.
2. Place 1/4 cup cooked zucchini, basil, 1/4 cup cheese, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor; process until finely chopped. (Keep mixture in processor.)
3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 10 minutes or until golden. Return remaining cooked zucchini to pan. Remove from heat.
4. Combine 6 quarts water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a large Dutch oven, and bring to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain in a sieve over a bowl, reserving 1/3 cup cooking liquid. Add pasta to vegetables.
5. With processor on, add reserved liquid to basil mixture; process until smooth. Add basil mixture to pasta. Add cream, remaining salt, and pepper; stir. Top with remaining cheese.
Amount per serving (Serving Size of 1 1/2 cups of pasta and 1 T. cheese, yielding 4 servings)
Saturated fat: 6.1g
Monounsaturated fat: 6.6g
Polyunsaturated fat: 2.6g