Zucchini & Arugula Cashew Pesto With Ancient Grain Pasta


Zucchini With Cashew Arugula Pesto

 The peppery aroma of arugula paired with the creamy taste of cashew gives this simple dish a depth of flavor. 

I feel like zucchini is often a forgotten vegetable in our house.  Apart from my trusty ratatouille recipe I am usually at a bit of a loss when it comes to using it. When my husband came home from the farmers market with a bulging bag of rather large zucchinis I did a little browsing to get inspired and came across this recipe on Real Simple  that got me thinking of a different take on the idea. I’m currently cashew obsessed and like any excuse to add them to a dish.  I made this to take with us hiking and camping which I ended up enjoying so much I whipped up another serving today!

Both arugula and zucchini are rich in folate and an excellent source of Vitamin A which helps fight infection and sustain the immune system.

Pesto Ingredients

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted cashews
  • 1 handful Basil
  • 1 handful Parsley
  • 1 – 2 handfuls arugula
  • 1/3 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

Other Ingredients (Serves 3)

  • 1 extra-large or two medium zucchini halved lengthways and sliced into half moons
  • 1/2 large mozzarella ball, sliced into bite sized pieces
  • Olive oil
  • Chili flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Two handfuls of arugula
  • Gluten-free ancient grain pasta, quinoa pasta or brown rice pasta (see serving sizes on packet)
  • Fresh lemon wedges


To prepare the pesto add the garlic clove with the nuts and partially blend. Add the herbs and olive oil and blend until ingredients form a chunky paste. Pesto can be made in advance and stored in the fridge.

In a large pot bring water to boil, add pasta and cook to directions. Meanwhile, heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan. Add the sliced zucchini and cook until slightly browning and tender, about 5 minutes. Add a sprinkling of chili flakes and salt and pepper then transfer to bowl and coat with a few tablespoons of the pesto.

Drain the pasta then add back into pot, stir in the pesto covered zucchini, a few handfuls of fresh arugula and mozzarella slices. Add in a little more pesto if required. Serve with fresh lemon on the side.



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