Fresh Cavatelli Pasta & Basil Pesto with Corn & Zucchini

Fresh Cavatelli Pasta & Basil Pesto

with Corn & Zucchini

25 MIN
+$1.45/serving 4 Servings
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    From the Test Kitchen

    The highlight of this summery pasta is our fragrant basil pesto, a beloved sauce that originated in Liguria, on Italy’s northwest coast. Tossed with fresh cavatelli pasta and a seasonal duo of corn and zucchini, it all makes for a quick and easy late summer meal.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      790 Cals (est.)
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    fresh
    ingredients
    Fresh Cavatelli Pasta & Basil Pesto with Corn & Zucchini
    Title
    • 10 oz Hot Italian Pork Sausage
    • 1 lb Fresh Cavatelli Pasta (Previously Frozen)
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • 2 Zucchini
    • 1 oz Butter
    • 1 bunch Parsley
    • 2 ears Of Corn
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
    • 2 Tbsps Mascarpone Cheese
    • 0.7 oz Grana Padano Cheese
    • ¼ cup Cream
    time-saving
    tips & techniques
    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Remove any husks and silks from the corn; cut the kernels off the cobs. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Grate the Grana Padano on the small side of a box grater. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.

    Cook the pasta
    2 Cook the pasta

    Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 11 to 13 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    Cook the sausage
    3 Cook the sausage

    Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sausage. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 7 to 9 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bit (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a bowl. 

    Cook the vegetables
    4 Cook the vegetables

    In the pan of reserved fond, heat 2 teaspoons 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 corn kernels, 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 occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked sausagecooked vegetables, butter, cream, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat and stir in the pesto and mascarpone until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the chopped parsley and grated Grana Padano. Enjoy!

    Tips from Home Chefs

    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Remove any husks and silks from the corn; cut the kernels off the cobs. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Grate the Grana Padano on the small side of a box grater. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems.

    2 Cook the pasta

    Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 11 to 13 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

    Cook the pasta
    Cook the sausage
    3 Cook the sausage

    Meanwhile, in a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sausage. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 7 to 9 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bit (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a bowl. 

    4 Cook the vegetables

    In the pan of reserved fond, heat 2 teaspoons 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 corn kernels, 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 occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired.

    Cook the vegetables
    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked sausagecooked vegetables, butter, cream, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat and stir in the pesto and mascarpone until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the chopped parsley and grated Grana Padano. Enjoy!

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