Zucchini & Penne with Hot Pepper Pesto

Zucchini & Penne with Hot Pepper Pesto
  • 4Servings


  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 handfuls grated parmigiano-reggiano
  • 1 cup packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh mint leaves
  • 2 jalapeno chile peppers, seeded
  • 2 cloves garlic, pasted
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons pistachios, toasted
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • about 1/3 cup EVOO
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 small or 1 medium zucchini, halved, seeded and sliced into half-moons


Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and return to the pot, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

While the pasta is working, using a food processor, finely chop the cheese, parsley, mint, chiles, garlic, pistachios, lime zest and lime juice; season with salt and pepper. With the machine on, stream in about 5 tbsp. EVOO to form a pesto.

In a large skillet, heat about 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium- high heat. Add the butter and heat until foaming. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Add the pesto and reserved pasta cooking water to the pasta and toss, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in half of the zucchini. Serve the pasta in shallow bowls and top with the remaining zucchini.