Mushroom Zucchini Pasta with White Beans and Pesto

This pasta comes together nice and quick, uses fresh spring-flavoured ingredients.  You can use whichever pasta you like to toss into this pan sauce and top with fresh herbs, lemon zest chili flakes or a fresh drizzle of olive oil.  The next day it makes a great cold salad and  tastes just as good.

While the pasta water is put on to boil, start cooking the veggies and by the time your pasta is ready, you are pretty much ready to finish your sauce.  I like to deglaze the pan with a little white wine. You will simmer it down, so that alchol will burn off, however, if you don’t want to use wine, you can use vegetable stock or the pasta water.

About Pesto

In the summer  I like to make pesto by the processor full whenever the herb garden gets a little full. Then I freeze them in ice cube trays and store in freezer bags for use throughout the year. You could also make a quick pesto with herbs from the supermarket any time of year. I’m not a purist when it comes to pesto, which you traditionally make with basil, garlic, olive oil and seasoned further with parmesan cheese and pine nuts. However, I do not particularly love the flavour of pine nuts and I omit the parmesan, so I customize mine with a little lemon zest and parsley.

Mushroom Zucchini Pasta with White Beans and Pesto
  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Cook the pasta as per the instructions, reserving the water, when your pasta is done.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add in the mushrooms and let cook until a sear begins to develop on one side, Stir and cook until juices release and mushrooms are golden brown, 10-12 minutes.
  3. Add one clove of minced garlic and a large pinch of salt, stirring until fragrant. Remove mushrooms from the pan and set off to the side.
  4. Pour the additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, followed by the red onion slices. Cook for 2 minutes, until they being to soften, then add the zucchini.
  5. Cook the zucchini, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes (depends on how thin your sliced are), until they start to release their juices and soften. De-glaze the pan, with wine (or use ¼ cup pasta water) stirring the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 2 minutes).
  6. Turn the pan down to low and add back in the mushrooms along with the white beans, clove of garlic and another pinch of salt.
  7. Add the cooked, drained pasta into the pan along with the pesto, lemon juice and lemon zest. Stir well so that everything is incorporated. Add ½ cup of pasta water to the pan and stir. The pasta should be well coated, there should be no ‘sauce’ at the bottom of the pan, but also, it should not be too dry. If there is too much liquid, continue cooking if it is too dry, add a little more pasta water (or a glug of olive oil).
  8. Add the parsley, taste for seasoning—adding more salt or pesto at this point to taste.
  9. Plate and top with any optional ingredients such as chili flakes, black pepper, herbs, zest or nutritional yeast. Enjoy!

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