2000s Recipes + Menus

Pasta with Pesto My Way

Serves 6
  • Active time:50 min
  • Start to finish:50 min (includes making pesto)
September 2008
For the pesto mixture, executive food editor Kemp M. Minifie switches from pine nuts to pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds, and she incorporates flat-leaf parsley in with the basil. To top it all off she adds homemade bread crumbs. It’s not quite Italian anymore, but it works.

Learn how she rediscovered the joys of fresh pesto and made it her own.
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1/2 lb total)
  • 1/2 lb boiling potatoes, peeled
  • 3/4 lb rotini or penne
  • 6 oz green beans, trimmed and halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut off (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes (12 to 14 oz)
  • 1 cup Kemp’s pesto
  • Cut zucchini into thin rounds with slicer. Fit slicer with julienne attachment and cut potatoes into ¼-inch-thick matchsticks.
  • Start cooking rotini in a pasta pot of boiling salted water (3 Tbsp salt for 6 qt water) according to package instructions. Six minutes before pasta is done, stir in potatoes and green beans. Two minutes before pasta is done, stir in corn and zucchini.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over high heat until it shimmers. Add tomatoes and cook, covered, shaking skillet once or twice, until tomatoes wilt, split, and release some juices, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and scoop into a small bowl.
  • Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta with vegetables.
  • Put pesto in a large bowl and whisk in enough reserved cooking water to thin to a sauce, 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Add pasta mixture and toss to coat. Thin with more cooking water and season with salt if necessary. Serve immediately, with tomatoes and bread crumbs on the side.
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