This dish is so good, after I ate the portion pictured here, I immediately ran to my computer to share this recipe. (And I mean immediately – dishes are not yet done. Those who know me know that this means business about how good this dish is – I rarely, *rarely* do anything before cleaning up dishes after dinner, they irk me so.)
You have to make this pesto, it is so delicious, flavorful and light. It comes together really easily and with items you likely have in your kitchen already. (In fact, if you haven’t eaten…) It’s perfect as a meatless main if you are craving a larger pasta portion, or would make a great pasta course for four.
I hope you will have time to try this before zucchini’s are out of season!
Fettuccini with Zucchini & Mint Pesto
Hands-On Time: 20 Minutes
Special Equipment: Food Processor, Microplane or Grater
- 1 Zucchini, with 1/8 Cup’s worth cut into matchsticks, the rest into 1/2″ cubes
- 1 Garlic Clove, Thinly Sliced
- 5 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Divided into one 2 Tbsp and one 3 Tbsp Portions
- Generous Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/4 Cup Roasted Almonds, Chopped
- Zest from 1/2 Lemon
- 2 Tbsp Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
- 1/8 Cup Finely Chopped Mint, Plus Sprinkle more for Garnish
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- 9 oz Fettuccini
- Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the garlic, sauté for 1-2 minutes, then, add the red pepper flakes and sauté another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the cubed zucchini and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, set up the food processor and add almost all of the chopped almonds (reserving some for garnish) and the remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil.
- Once becoming translucent, with the skin starting to pucker some, transfer the zucchini/garlic/red pepper mixture to the food processor.
- Process for :30 seconds, check texture. Continue in :30 second increments until throughly incorporated but still chunky.
- Scrape pesto from food processor into mixing bowl.
- Place fettuccini in salted boiling water and cook according to package instructions.
- Gather lemon zest, cheese & mint into a small bowl and set aside. Place lemon juice, salt & pepper and garnishes at arm’s length.
- Drain pasta, saving about 1/4 cup of the pasta water (which you may or may not need to use.)
- Return pasta to pot and gently fold in the pesto, mixing until pasta is throughly coated. If necessary, sprinkle in pasta water to achieve desired consistency.
- Add in the lemon zest and juice, cheese, mint and salt and pepper.
- Garnish with reserved almonds, mint, and zucchini matchsticks.
I hope you love this – I think you will!
Note: This recipe was adapted from an original version by Katie Parla, published in the September 2015 issue of Food & Wine. I reduced the total number of servings and in doing so, reduced the oil, nuts and cheese, but left the lemon, garlic and mint the same or added more, to kick up the flavor quotient. I also added lemon juice where there was none.