The refreshing flavors of gazpacho meet a light pasta dish that’s delish for summer and healthy year-round!
- 2 pints grape tomatoes
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into small cubes
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
- 3-4 stalks celery from the heart, finely chopped
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves (two large handfuls), chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves (a small handful), chopped
- 1/2 cup almonds, sliced and toasted
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2-3 pimentos or roasted red peppers, chopped
- A few dashes of hot sauce
- Grated Manchego cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, for topping
- Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF and place a large pot of water over high heat to bring to a boil.
- Scatter the tomatoes and zucchini onto a baking sheet and drizzle them with about 2 tablespoons of EVOO and some salt and pepper. Toss them in the oven and roast until the tomatoes have burst and the zucchini is tender, about 20 minutes.
- When the water is boiling, add some salt and the penne. Cook until al dente, according to the package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve a mugful of starchy cooking water. Drain the pasta thoroughly, then return it to the pot it was cooked in.
- While the pasta and veggies are cooking, in a small bowl, add the celery, parsley and cilantro. Crush the toasted almonds in small sealable plastic bag using a rolling pin or a small heavy pan. Add the nuts to the herbs along with the zest and juice of the lime and the garlic. Stir in the remaining EVOO and mash with wooden spoon to make a chunky pesto. Reserve. Note: the pesto can also be made in a food processor. To use a food processor, add the celery, parsley, cilantro, almonds, zest and juice of the lime and the garlic to the food processor. Turn the processor on and stream in the remaining EVOO to form a thick sauce. A splash of water or vegetable stock can help the pesto move in the processor, and the nuts do not need to be crushed ahead of time.
- Once the pasta and veggies are ready, add the roasted veggies to the pot with the cooked pasta, along with the pesto. Throw in the chopped peppers and a few dashes of hot sauce and give everything a good toss to evenly coat.
- Turn the pasta out into a serving dish and garnish with lots of grated cheese.