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.
The pesto can be covered with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface and refrigerated overnight.
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