Linguine Al Pesto Di Zucchine

This dish incorporates two regional specialties: zucchini and olive oil. According to the book, “Irpinia, in the region of Avellino, is known for its olive and olive oil production, due to its ideal terroir: rich, fertile volcanic soil and a cooler climate as a result of proximity to the Apennines mountain range.” Here, oil is blended with zucchini for an herbal pesto sauce.

Adapted from Naples and the Amalfi Coast (Phaidon, $39.95 US/$49.95 CAN, April 2017)

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  • Servings: 6 to 8

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  • About 3/4 cup (200 milliliters) olive oil
  • 1 1/2 ounces (40 grams) sliced almonds
  • Salt
  • 1 1/4 pounds (600 grams) zucchini (courgette), halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 25 mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 ounces (60 grams) blanched almonds, chopped
  • 1–2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/3 cups (120 grams) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Pepper
  • 1 1/4 pounds (600 grams) linguine

How to make this recipe

  1. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a small frying pan. Add the sliced almonds and cook, stirring from time to time, until browned. Set aside.

  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the zucchini and cook until crisp-tender. Scoop out the zucchini and set aside to cool. Reserve the pot of cooking water.

  3. In a blender or food processor, process the zucchini with the mint, parsley, chopped almonds, garlic, and Parmesan. With the machine running, drizzle in 10 tablespoons (150 ml) oil. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Bring the pot of reserved zucchini cooking water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain, transfer to a serving dish, and toss with the zucchini pesto. Drizzle with oil, season with pepper, and garnish with the toasted sliced almonds. Serve.

Photo © Simon Bajada

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