Baked Pasta with Zucchini and Basil Pesto

I have voiced my dislike towards zucchini in the past.

Having that said, I have been having good runs of making zucchini more likeable and welcoming to my repertoire.  I supposed I have found a way to make peace with zucchini – by grating it or by dicing as small as possible. I still think zucchini is not an ideal vegetable for a stir fry dish. I prefer my stir fry vegetables to be crunchy which I think it’s quite difficult for zucchini to be.  Maybe I can undercook the zucchini a little so it will stay crunchy.

Hmm, a half cooked zucchini? I think it may be too much for a reformed zucchini hater to bear.

I was gifted an unusually round and large zucchini by a friend who has a vegetable garden which I wish to raid one day (maybe in spring time). Haha, just kidding!  {In case he is reading this}. My cheeky intention aside, I love home grown vegetables and I think they make an ideal gift for people enjoy cooking, don’t you agree? (If you are reading this, thanks for your generousity! :D)

I was pretty happy with my last zucchini recipe and considering the good amount of hits I got for this post,  I realise there are  many zucchini lovers in the blogsphere. So I hope you enjoy this one too!

Baked Pasta with Zucchini and Basil Pesto

Serves 3 to 4 people

Ingredients:-

  • 2 small or 1 large zuchini
  • 3 to 4 tbsps pre-made basil pesto
  • 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese
  • 500g / 17 oz Penne or your choice of small pasta
  • Salt (to add in boiling water to cook the pasta)
  • A kettle of hot water to cook the pasta

Methods:

  1. Dice or grate the zucchini.
  2. In a large pan (or my favourite Baccarat 28cm stir fry pan) with some olive oil, saute the zucchini until translucent and slightly charred. This is done over medium heat.
  3. Turn off the flame and add basil pesto. Mix until everthing is well mixed and set aside.
  4. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and mix with the zucchini-basil-pesto mixture.
  5. If you like a layer of grilled cheese over the pasta, transfer the pasta onto a baking dish, sprinkle grated cheese and let it blister under a griller.  Serve immediately with some fresh basil if you wish. :)

This can be eaten hot, cold or at room temperature. This would make a convenient packed lunch. Enjoy!

For this recipe, I have used up about half of the gigantic zucchini. For the remaining of the zucchini…

I diced and put it in zip lock bags in the portion that I think I need for a dish and freeze it. Alternatively, you can grate and store it in the freezer. I used them in pasta sauce mostly.

2 Responses to Baked Pasta with Zucchini and Basil Pesto
  1. Rachel @ Bakerita
    May 2, 2012 | 5:11 am

    This looks amazing! What a yummy, fresh springtime dinner. Can’t wait to go find some basil and zucchini at the farmers market to make this.

    • Emily
      May 2, 2012 | 10:18 am

      I can imagine it would be even better with homemade basil pesto :D

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