05 August 2015

Campanelle and Pesto Pasta Bowl



The other day, a Facebook friend posted a funny comment about this being zucchini season and that everyone should begin locking their cars ... yeah, it's zucchini season all right ! My counter is starting to become cluttered with zucchini and cucumbers. By next week, I'll be threatening SB with death if he brings any zucchini into the house that is larger than a  ... you know! Sorry, but THAT is the perfect size for cooking. What can I say?



Moving along, it's a pesto kind of day here. There is wonderful basil out in the garden, a perfect row of Swiss chard that needs trimming out, and plenty of garlic in the bowl on the counter. I saw a recipe in the latest Food & Wine magazine that uses pappardelle with zucchini slices and an arugula pesto to make a beautiful summertime bowl of pasta. I'm borrowing the idea but I'm switching out the arugula for Swiss chard, adding shaved purple onion to the zucchini saute, using Campanelle pasta (love those little cornucopia shapes for holding onto sauces!), and sprinkling the final dish with toasted walnuts to make my version of the pasta bowl.

Here are my measurements in the adapted recipe ... I hope you enjoy ! Use up some of that zucchini !




Campanelle and Pesto 

Makes 3 servings with leftover pesto for other uses

Ingredients:

8 oz. Campanelle pasta (dry measure)
1 medium-sized zucchini, tipped and sliced length-wise and then sliced into 1/4-inch half moons
1 c. purple onion slices
a drizzle of olive oil and a small pat of butter for the saute pan
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped and toasted in a dry pan, set aside

Pesto Ingredients:

1 c. basil leaves, torn into small bits
3 c. Swiss chard, stemmed and torn into bits
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 c. pine nuts
2 tbsp. lemon juice, plus zest from one half lemon
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 to 3/4 c. good quality olive oil (EVOO)
Kosher salt, to taste

Making the Dish:

1. Boil the water and toss in the pasta.

2. Place all the pesto ingredients (except the olive oil and salt) in a blender bowl and blitz. Drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is whizzing until you think the pesto is looking good. Taste. Add a tablespoon of water if you like a looser pesto. Taste and add the salt, to taste. Set aside.

3. While the pasta cooks, heat a saute pan and drizzle in a bit of EVOO. Add the pat of butter and the zucchini and onions. Cook quickly - just until the vegetables are tender crisp. Remove from the heat and add to the drained al dente pasta.

4. Add some of the pesto and toss gently. Taste. More pesto? Add your preferred amount. 

5. Scoop into pasta bowls and sprinkle on the toasted walnuts. Serve piping hot.

Notes:

Store the leftover pesto in a bowl with a piece of plastic wrap pressed onto the pesto surface. It will keep for a few days before beginning to discolor.

Also, sub in other greens to alter the pesto to your liking ... kale, spinach, arugula whatever greens and herbs you love.



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