Pesto Pappardelle Pasta with Zucchini Ribbons

pesto pappardelle pasta

I love this time of year when I can walk outside into my back yard and pick enough fresh basil to make a batch of pesto. Usually the first time that I make pesto I immediately have to cook up some sort of pasta with it, there’s nothing like freshly made basil pesto swirled into warm pasta, perfection at it’s best!

zucchini ribbons and pappardelle pasta

I decided on making pappardelle pasta this time, pappardelle is a large, broad and flat noodle and it goes really well with the addition of some zucchini ribbons  tossed into the warm pasta at the end. The long, wide zucchini ribbons mimic the pappardelle and adds a nice touch to the freshly made pesto.

A vegetable peeler is a great tool to use when making zucchini ribbons and it’s easy to do, but just make sure you keep turning the zucchini when you reach the seeds like I did, shown in the above photo.

home grown basil

To make the basil pesto gather up the best leaves you can find, ones that are unblemished.

making basil pesto

A tip I learned a long time ago was to blanch the basil in boiling water for just fifteen seconds then immediately plunge it into cold ice water to shock it and stop the cooking process. By doing this the pesto will stay a nice bright green color, it won’t oxidize and have that dark green color on top which is not so visually appealing.

After you scoop the leaves out of the water make sure you give them a really good squeeze, removing as much water as you can. Another tip I learned a while back was to use a potato ricer for squeezing out the water, it works wonders, the handle comes down and it easily pushes all the excess water through the holes beneath, but if you don’t have a ricer just wrap it up in a tea towel and twist it until it’s nice and dry.

basil pesto ingredients

Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano is a must for a quality tasting pesto as well as a bit of garlic, good olive oil and lightly toasted walnuts. I stopped using pine nuts a while ago it’s hard to find descent ones and the price is outrageous, plus I have really come to love it with the toasted walnuts anyway.

basil pesto

I like using a food processor to make my pesto it’s quick and easy and then I store it in the fridge using glass jars, pesto also freezes really well.

pesto pappardelle pasta

No need to cook the zucchini ribbons at all you just toss them raw right into the warm, strained pasta that has been tossed with the fresh basil pesto.

pesto pappardelle pasta

This is such a fresh and vibrant tasting pasta dish to make when basil is in abundance this time of year, it’s even good cold as a salad with some grilled chicken or shrimp.

Don’t stop at only pasta though fresh pesto can be slathered on just about anything, use your imagination and get creative!

Follow Proud Italian Cook on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Pesto Pappardelle Pasta with Zucchini Ribbons
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • BASIL PESTO
  • 4 cups of solidly packed basil leaves, unblemished and washed
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • FOR THE PASTA
  • ½ lb. pappardelle pasta
  • 2 zucchini and 1 yellow squash or 3 zucchini, medium sized made into ribbons with a veggie peeler
  • basil pesto, no measurement just enough to coat the warm pasta to your liking
  • a few basil leaves, toasted walnuts and grated cheese for garnish
Instructions
  1. TO MAKE THE PESTO
  2. Blanch the basil in boiling water for just 15 seconds.
  3. Immediately remove, scoop out with a spider and place into an ice bath to stop the cooking.
  4. Squeeze out all the water from the blanched basil.
  5. In a food processor add the nuts, then garlic and basil and grated cheese, combine.
  6. Now while the processor is running stream enough olive oil down the shoot until you get a nice loose consistency.
  7. Place into a glass jar and refrigerate until ready to use, I got a little over 2 pints.
  8. Pesto stays well in the fridge for at least 3 weeks or in the freezer for over a month.
  9. TO MAKE THE PESTO PAPPARDELLE PASTA WITH ZUCCHINI RIBBONS
  10. Cook pasta according to directions al'dente, reserve a little pasta water if need be for incorporating.
  11. Scoop out and place into a large bowl.
  12. Add in enough pesto to your taste and liking, if it seems to thick loosen it up with some of the warm pasta water you reserved.
  13. Toss in the raw zucchini ribbons while the pasta is still hot, tossing and coating with the pasta and pesto.
  14. Arrange everything onto a nice platter.
  15. Add some small basil leaves, some toasted walnuts, extra grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil all over for garnish.
  16. Enjoy!

 

Signature

Mamma Agata’s Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta and a Special Giveaway

Do you know who Mamma Agata is? Just in case you don’t, let me introduce her to you. Mamma Agata is a legend on the Amalfi Coast and Ravello. At a very young age her cooking talents were being noticed and shortly after, her name became famous among American movie stars and politicians.
Mamma Agata has cooked for Humphrey Bogart, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Fred Astaire, and Jacqueline Kennedy just to name a few.

Today you’ll find her still in the kitchen along with her daughter Chiara and son-in- law Gennaro right beside her, conducting classes in their cooking and wine school that is actually their private home. Their beautiful home sits on a clifftop, 1000 feet above sea level with a spectacular view of the Amalfi coastline.
This has been on my “bucket list” for years!

You can imagine my excitement when I received an email from Chiara asking me if I’d like to review their cookbook, pasta and olive oil. I couldn’t wait to open up the package the day it arrived. The cookbook was hand signed by all in the family and there were two different pastas, pappardelle and spaghetti, a bottle of their newly launched olive oil and a beautiful handwritten note from Chiara.
I was dreaming about the Amalfi for days! This is the actual view from their terrace! Wouldn’t you love to gaze out at this every day?
I can see why her school is called, ” The Hidden Treasure”.
 Mamma Agata, “Simple and Genuine” was a labor of love written by Chiara Lima, Mamma Agata’s daughter. She wrote the book to “save” her mothers treasures for generations to come, her experiences, recipes, secrets and techniques.
Their first cookbook, which was self published, has been honored with the” Gourmand Best in the World 2010 Award” coming in second in the category ” Best Easy Recipes”. This book is filled with mouth watering recipes, there are so many I want to make like her Lemon Chicken that has a wine and herb infusion prepared four days before the dish and her Lemon Cake which she is so well known for.
You can only order the book on her website, here’s the link, they ship all over the world, and each and every copy will be personally signed!
I couldn’t wait to try the pappardelle, so I decided to make the Sausage and Red Pepper Pasta from the book, following the instructions to cut the peppers not to thin and not to thick.
After sauteing the peppers ahead of time I added sliced onion and cooked until golden brown.  Mamma Agata likes to cook the sausage whole in a ring, then pierce with a fork, it allows the juices to flow in the pan and will enhance the flavor of the sauce.
The pasta is hearty, toothy, made with the highest quality durum wheat produced exclusively in Italy. The surface is slightly rough, perfect for absorbing your sauce!
After your sausage is seared you add in cherry tomatoes, fresh torn basil and a cup of fresh tomato sauce, I had some homemade marinara that I added to mine.  Remove the sausage, cut into slices and toss it all with your slightly under cooked pappardelle and allow it to cook a couple of minutes more in the sauce. The end result is amazing!
Before we devoured the main course we sampled the olive oil, very fresh tasting with a nice peppery bite!
If you’d like to have a taste of Mamma Agata’s kitchen you can order the pasta and olive oil here. Remember, they ship all over the world!
.Giveaway has ended.
One day, I know I will be sitting here!

 

Signature

Cooking with Quality Products

Recently I received an email from Olio2go, a company whose mission is to seek out the best quality products from all over Italy asking me if I’d like to review some of their artisanal products, after checking out their link of course I said yes!

One of the three products I received was Olio Verde Novello coming from Castelvetrano, Italy on the Island of Sicily, this olive oil was freshly pressed this passed October, and boy can you taste that freshness! It’s rich, fruity and slightly pungent all at the same time with hints of artichoke and lemon, I swear I could drink this stuff, oh and I love the shape of the bottle!
Did you know that high quality extra virgin olive oil is very stable when heated and it has a high smoking point? I didn’t!
The pappardelle comes from Pastificio Vicidomini, in Castel San Giorgio, near Naples, from a family owned business that has been making high quality pasta since 1812, now 6 generations strong this pasta is made with certified organic semolina and mountain water. There must be something to that mountain water because the flavor and the texture was superb!
The pretty jar of crispy asparagus comes from Villa Cappelli in Puglia perfect for an appetizer or placed into a salad.

For the pappardelle I decided to let the pasta shine through by tossing it with roasted shards of butternut squash. I call it shards because that’s what they ended up looking like after I shredded and roasted them up on my baking sheet.

I actually loved how all the jagged pieces looked when tossed among this amazing quality pasta.
I used a basil brown butter sauce and plenty of freshly grated parmesan cheese and cracked black pepper to finish it off.

When I read that Olio Verde had hints of lemon and artichoke, I went out and bought 4 of the prettiest artichokes I could find, I trimmed them, cut them into quarters, scooped out the chokes, cooked them until tender, and then after they were cooled down I placed them into a pool of this liquid gold along with fresh parsley, lemon juice as well as the zest, red pepper and chopped garlic. One word… DIVINE!

I’m sorry but I just couldn’t get enough of this olive oil so I went ahead and made a savory baked ricotta, perfect when smeared on top crostini. Ricotta is such a blank canvas, it takes on flavors so well, so when it was finished baking I poured a generous drizzle of it right over the top which made every bite sublime!
.

I had 1 1/2 cups of ricotta sitting in my fridge so with that I mixed in 1 egg, 1/2 cup of grated romano cheese, 5 small cherry tomatoes cut lengthwise, a couple of tablespoons of fresh chopped basil, 1 small minced garlic, zest of 1/2 a lemon, salt, pepper and 3 chopped olives.

Oil a shallow gratin dish, or a ramekin if you want to un-mold it, spread the mixture into the dish and bake 375F for around 20 minutes or until nicely golden on top.

Of course if you don’t have these particular products on hand you can make any of these recipes using your own favorite pastas and olive oils, but if your looking for an extra special treat, check out Olio2go!
Buon Appetito!
Signature