Pasta with Zucchini Sauce and Watercress Pesto
- Yield 10 servings
Green-on-Green! If you are unable to locate watercress, arugula makes an excellent peppery substitute for the garnishing pesto.
- Watercress Pesto:
- 1 bundle fresh watercress
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch sea salt
- Sauce and Pasta:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 10 cups sliced zucchini (about 5 pounds)
- 1 cup chopped garlic scapes (1 bundle)
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup water
- 1 pound tagliardi pasta (or pasta of choice)
- Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
- To prepare the pesto, place all ingredients into a food processor fitted with the swivel blade and pulse until watercress is finely ground. The infused olive oil will be bright green. Keeps for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.
- To prepare sauce, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large stockpot. Add zucchini, garlic and salt. Stir, coating the vegetables well. Sauté until vegetables begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Zucchini will collapse and release its liquid, becoming “soupy.” Add water and wine, and continue cooking uncovered for another 7 minutes. Remove from heat and puree the mixture with an immersion blender. Taste for salt.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. (Tagliardi, thin egg pasta squares, require 4 minutes cooking time.) Drain and return to pot.
- Spoon warm sauce over pasta, and fold throughout—gently coating the pasta. Dot with watercress pesto oil. Dust with cheese, parmesan or pecorino.