Orecchiette with Zucchini and Mint-Almond Pesto

This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from the show visit


For the Pesto:

  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted and cooled
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley tops
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • About 1/3 cup EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese
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For the Orecchiette:

  • 1 pound orecchiette or short cut pasta
  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 small, firm zucchini, thinly sliced into discs
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 red chili, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
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Bring large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Place almonds, mint, parsley, lemon juice and garlic in a food processor, turn on and stream in EVOO to form a pesto; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to large, shallow serving bowl and stir in cheese.

Salt boiling water and cook pasta to al dente.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, 2 turns of the pan, then zucchini and toss to brown, 5-6 minutes. Add shallots, chili and garlic, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.    

Add 1 cup of starchy, salty cooking water to the pesto then drain pasta and add it to sauce. Toss to coat pasta evenly with pesto then add in zucchini, toss to combine and serve.

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