A quick and easy vegan pesto pasta with the summer’s best zucchini, perfect for a warm summer night!
I almost always say this around this time of year but, HOW is it almost August?! It feels like the summer raced by and I haven’t even had a chance to drink that many patio beers and stuff my face with tacos. (That’s a lie, but there are never enough tacos) I also realized that I really haven’t taken full advantage of the summer produce like I should and have been making a habit of going to the farmer’s market in the last few weeks. Between picking up the prettiest raspberries (smoothie recipe coming soon!) and ALL the zucchini, summer recipe ideas have been flowing. Combine all those fresh zucchini I picked up with finding the deal of the century on basil and the easiest zucchini vegan pesto pasta was born!
I actually kind of struggled writing a recipe out for this vegan pesto pasta recipe, because it was such an off the cuff and thrown together recipe, which sometimes, end up being the best ones. If you want to sub in pine nuts for the walnuts in the vegan pesto or prefer corn to zucchni, go for it! I’m looking at this recipe as my lazy day, go to summer pasta recipe and am sure I’ll continue to find ways to throw veggies and carbs together and call it a meal.
Going to keep it short and sweet today for the post, it seems like the last two weeks have gone by in a whirlwind. While I love all the exciting things that have been happening, I also need to sleep, drink a smoothie, and finally finish a book I’ve been holding hostage from the library for 2 months (hi, I had a $30 library fine, eek!). Happy almost Friday!
- For the pesto:
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the pasta:
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat penne pasta
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- To make the pesto:
- Combine all of the ingredients together in a food processor or high powered blender. Blend until combined and fairly smooth, depending on how you like your pesto. If the pesto is too think, add additional olive oil by the tablespoon to keep the mixture going. Reserve the pesto and set aside.
- To make the pasta/zucchini:
- In a medium sized pot or dutch oven, cook the pasta according to package directions. I used whole wheat pasta and mine took about 9 minutes to reach the al dente stage. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the zucchini.
- Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice into 1/2 inch to inch size pieces. Just make them small enough to be bite sized but big enough that they don’t cook too quickly.
- Heat a saute pan over medium high heat and add the tablespoon of olive oil, once the oil is heated, add the sliced zucchini. Cook for 4-6 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper and turning the pieces after a few minutes to ensure they are browned on both sides.
- Once the zucchini is cooked, remove from heat and toss together with the prepared pesto and pasta, coating everything evenly. Serve immediately.