Creamy Pesto Cavatelli with Spinach, Zucchini, & Tomatoes

Creamy Pesto Cavatelli

with Spinach, Zucchini, & Tomatoes

20 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Fresh cavatelli pasta is tossed in a vibrant sauce of herby pesto, which gets another layer of verdant color and flavor from sautéed zucchini and fresh spinach, folded into the warm pasta just before serving.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    660 Cals (est.)
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Creamy Pesto Cavatelli with Spinach, Zucchini, & Tomatoes
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tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. If necessary, peel the garlic, then roughly chop. Quarter the tomatoes; place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. 

Cook the pasta:
2 Cook the pasta:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 9 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

Cook the zucchini:
3 Cook the zucchini:

While the pasta cooks, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
4 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

Add the cooked pasta, spinach, seasoned tomatoes, cheese, and half the reserved pasta cooking water to the pan of cooked zucchini. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the spinach is wilted. Stir in the pesto (if the pasta seems dry, gradually add the remaining cooking water to achieve your desired consistency). Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. If necessary, peel the garlic, then roughly chop. Quarter the tomatoes; place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. 

2 Cook the pasta:

Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 9 to 11 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

Cook the pasta:
Cook the zucchini:
3 Cook the zucchini:

While the pasta cooks, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened. Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

4 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

Add the cooked pasta, spinach, seasoned tomatoes, cheese, and half the reserved pasta cooking water to the pan of cooked zucchini. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined and the spinach is wilted. Stir in the pesto (if the pasta seems dry, gradually add the remaining cooking water to achieve your desired consistency). Turn off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
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