5 July 2010

Rigatoni with Zucchini Pistou for Presto Pasta Nights

Rigatoni with Zucchini Pistou

Welcome to Meatless Mondays once again here at MTBT a movement you will find all over the blogosphere. This is a day set aside to raise awareness and as individuals to reduce our own carbon imprint on our planet. You can make meatless meals part of your sustainable, healthy lifestyle. The campaign itself invites us to eliminate meat for just one day a week to improve our health amongst other things. On other days, we are encouraged to choose lean meats and low-fat dairy products as other ways to curb our intake of saturated fat. Today you will find a satisfying pasta dish worthy of all accolades here on these pages. Not only is it heart-healthy but screams summer.

 Pistou is to the French what pesto is to the Italians.  Pistou means "pounded" in French but is understood to mean basil paste. It is a cold sauce made from cloves of garlic, fresh basil, and olive oil. Provencal cooking is unthinkable without pistou and is similar to pesto, however more garlic is used, and there are no pine nuts nor cheese in the original recipe. How much garlic is used varies from kitchen to kitchen just as every recipe differs as well. This is one of those rustic farmhouse dishes  that requires simple, flavourful and readily available ingredients.Traditionally, the ingredients are crushed and mixed together in a mortar with a pestle.  Some more modern versions of the recipe include grated Parmesan, pecorino or similar hard cheeses.

Both pistou and pesto freeze well. I recommend freezing in tablespoon quantities, allowing each to come to room temperature before using. If you are freezing larger quantities, such as small tubs, then omit the cheese and add this once it is thawed and at room temperature. Covered with a little olive oil, it also keeps well in the refrigerator for several days to a week. After this time, it may become bitter and loose its bright green colour.

If you’re like me, you may be inundated by so many squash this summer that you’ll come up with many unique ways of preparing them. The term summer squash refers to any squash with an edible skin. This includes zucchini and yellow crookneck squash (also called just “summer squash”), as well as pattypan squash, globe squash, scallopini and chayote, and a host of other varieties. The delicate flavour, soft shell and creamy white flesh of summer squash is a perfect addition to any summer meal. When at the farmer's market early yesterday morning I came upon some baby yellow and green zucchini...an idea was born!!!This is my first zucchini dish of the season.


I am sending this recipe over to Ruth at Once Upon a Feast the "pasta queen" for her popular event. I try and join in on the fun whenever I have pasta over at Presto Pasta Nights. My cupboards are always full of pasta in countless shapes and sizes. It is too hard to resist at our local Italian grocers, especially since they have expanded!!! I want to have pasta every day of the year!!!!  Presto Pasta Nights event has been the baby of  Ruth over at Once Upon a Feast for over 3 glorious years. Whenever we feel the urge for some pasta we can go over to her site and have 3 years of entries from all over the world to choose from from pasta salad to lasagna to Pho. This week this popular event is being hosted by Helen of Fuss Free Flavours so head on over there on Friday and soak in the pasta dishes.

“Cento anni di salute e felicità !” (One hundred years of health and happiness)


**Penne with Zucchini Pistou**
from Cooking Light

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

 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.

 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.)

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.

 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.

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.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

35 comments:

  1. I have a glut of courgettes (zucchini) to use. Will bookmark this one for later in the week

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  2. I prefer the modern version of Pistou...you gotta have some Parmesan in there for sure!
    FYI...when my favorite pasta is on special...I go a little overboard in the quantity I buy...love all the different shapes and sizes ;o)

    Great recipe and amazing photo!
    Ciao for now and have a fantastic day, Claudia

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  3. Such pretty, pretty pictures! And I know the dish will taste as good. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. It's always a treat when you do and thanks for the sweet words.

    See you at the roundup.

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  4. Absolutely delicious! That is a great pistou sauce. Healthy and so toothsome...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  5. Val, we must have a connection! I spent half the day here in Florida yesterday grilling zucchini and squash with my daughter-in-law and showing her how to make a zucchini pesto (pistou!)!! Fabulous post
    xoxo Pattie

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  6. Yes, I am certainly inundated with squash at the moment. At 99 cents a pound at Whole Foods, how could I NOT be!

    The pistou looks excellent. I've never actually had it before but I could live off of pesto and be entirely content, so I'm sure I would love it!

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  7. What a delicious recipe, Val. I'll be so happy to have this when our bumper crop of zucchini hits the market. It's one of the veggies everybody in the family likes so I'm sure this will be a hit.

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  8. Looks like a perfect way to use up that bumper crop of zucchini!

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  9. This looks simple, yet luxurious Val!! So much summer packed into every bite! I've been thinking about making a big batch of pesto for freezing...but I think I need to use some for pasta, first! Delicious =)

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  10. oh yum! that looks delicious!

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  11. What a gorgeous photo. That alone would make me want to try this recipe. Add into the equation your skill and reputation for great cooking and you would know I absolutely have to try this one. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  12. Oh yes, this will be on our summer table! Our farmers' market offers a variety of petite summer squashes that I'm thinking would be perfect. They say the eye must be pleased first. That is certainly the case in this offering.

    Best,
    Bonnie

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  13. Wow, what a beautiful pasta dish! I wish I could try a bite!

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  14. excellent, val--this is a perfect summer dish, especially now that the zucchini is rolling in!

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  15. A mouthwatering pistou recipe, yummmh!

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  16. I just bought some zucchini at the farmer's market and love the idea of a quick, fresh summer pasta dish.

    (P.S. - It's fun to find another Val!)

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  17. Looks sensational. This is filed away for the fall when zucchini is everywhere. Wonderful flavours and great photo, Val.
    :)
    valerie

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  18. You and Cooking Light are the dynamic duo of dinnertime! This looks like a wonderful meal for the summertime.

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  19. That is such a perfect summer recipe and so much of it can be found at the farmer's market.

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  20. Delicious looking and so beautifully plated too! I love your pistou/pesto information; I always freeze mine now the kids are gone and I'm not feeding as many.

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  21. The pasta looks wonderful and something I could eat every night.

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  22. Zucchini is definitely a summer staple. I love this recipe, thank you for sharing. I enjoyed my visit to your lovely blog. Wishing you happiness, Katherine

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  23. The foods looks so classy and it is very obvious that it's a mouth-watering treat.

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  24. This is so terrific with the zucchini! Your photos are beautiful!

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  25. A very nice summer recipe. I am not yet inundated with zucchini, but I hope I will soon, since I love them.

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  26. This looks like a very pleasing recipe. I like that pistou has more garlic than pesto. This is definitely a timely recipe, and a great suggestion for how to put zucchini to use.

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  27. What a great looking pasta dish and a terrific way to use up those zucchini. the pistou addition and the lovely flower really make it sing.

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  28. This has turned out so well and is mouthwatering

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  29. Nice pasta, liked the pistou.

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  30. great way to use up this seasons produce...looks delicious.

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  31. I really like the sound of using the zucchini like this!

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  32. What a stunning dish! Gorgeous photo:)

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  33. Oh yum! I love zucchini and pesto/pistou so I would love this. I'm definitely bookmarking this one for the summer!

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  34. I can live on pasta... The trouble is i hardly venture beyond pesto sauce. This one truly sounds interesting. WIll try it.

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  35. Lovely!! The pasta looks delicious!!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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