My daughter Megan found this recipe in the book Eat Fresh Food, which is aimed at teen chefs. It’s a fantastic plant-based pasta dish where you use blended zucchini with basil as a cream sauce, and boil some other veggies in with the pasta. I’ve been making pasta for decades and this was a wonderful surprise to me!
This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.
Ingredients ($7.50 total for a large pot)
3 zucchini, ends trimmed – $2.33
2 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half – $0.08
1 tsp salt – 0.05
3/4 cup water – free
4 large basil leaves – $1.09
2 tbsp olive oil – $0.50
1 orange bell pepper, sliced – $0.99
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced – $0.99
1 bunch mixed chard, collards, and kale, destemmed and chopped – free from the farm
Handful of brussels sprouts, ends trimmed – free from the farm
1 lb fusilli or other short pasta – $1.49
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional nutritional yeast or pecorino romano cheese for sprinkling on top
1. Gather, wash, and chop all your ingredients. In a medium pot over medium high heat, boil the zucchini, garlic, salt, and water together. Lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes until the zucchini is tender. Pour into a blender, add the basil and olive oil, and blend together until smooth.
2. Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add salt as desired – I put in a small handful – then add the pasta, bell peppers, and brussels sprouts. Cook for 8 minutes, then add the greens and cook for 2 more minutes. Drain the pasta and veggies with a colander and return to the pot.
3. Pour the zucchini sauce over the pasta and give it a good mix. Serve hot. It’s delicious as is, but some of us sprinkle nutritional yeast over top and some of us sprinkle pecorino romano cheese. Enjoy! The extra leftovers also freeze well as leftovers for school lunches.
Sustainability Score (explained here)
- Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
- Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
- Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
- Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
- Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
- Nutritional value: 3 = optimal nutrition
- TOTAL: 18 – maximum score!
Experiment Outcome: This recipe gets added to our Family Favorites! 🙂
If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!