On Halloween, David Burtka punches up the green color of this pasta by boiling white fusilli in water laced with green food coloring before tossing it with vegetables and a basil-mint pesto. This simplified version calls for spinach fusilli.
Slideshow:Great Vegetarian Pastas
1/4 cup pine nuts
4 cups packed basil leaves
1 cup mint leaves
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 1/4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound spinach fusilli
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 pound small zucchini, cut into 1-by- 1/2-inch matchsticks
5 ounces baby spinach
How to Make It
In a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes; transfer to a plate and let cool. In a food processor, combine the pine nuts, basil, mint and garlic and pulse until finely chopped. With the machine on, add 1 cup of the olive oil in a steady stream. Add the 1/4 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano and pulse to incorporate. Season the pesto with salt and pepper.
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the fusilli until al dente. Drain the pasta and wipe out the pot.
Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil to the pot and heat until shimmering. Add the asparagus and zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat until crisp-tender and browned in spots, 5 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook just until wilted, 3 minutes. Add the pasta and pesto and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve right away, passing additional grated cheese on the side.
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