|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.