Pesto Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes & Romano Cheese
Family Friendly

Pesto Pasta

with Fresh Tomatoes & Romano Cheese

20 MIN
+$0.95/serving 2 Servings
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    From the Test Kitchen

    This bright pasta gets its verdant color two ways: we’re stirring in tender zucchini (sautéed with red pepper flakes for a lightly spicy kick), then bringing it all together with our herbaceous basil pesto.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      930 Cals (est.)
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    fresh
    ingredients
    Pesto Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes & Romano Cheese
    Title
    • 10 oz Hot Italian Pork Sausage
    • ½ lb Fresh Basil Fettuccine Pasta (Previously Frozen)
    • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
    • 4 oz Grape Tomatoes
    • 2 Scallions
    • 1 Zucchini
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    • 1 oz Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
    • ¼ cup Grated Romano Cheese
    • 2 Tbsps Mascarpone Cheese
    time-saving
    tips & techniques
    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Remove the pasta from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and hollow green tops. Halve the tomatoes; place in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Roughly chop the peppers.

    Cook the sausage
    2 Cook the sausage

    In a medium 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 bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a bowl. Cover with foil to keep warm.

    Cook the zucchini
    3 Cook the zucchini

    In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced white bottoms of the scallions 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, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and combined. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

    Cook the pasta
    4 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, using your hands, carefully separate the strands of pasta. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

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

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked sausage, seasoned tomatoes, cooked zucchini, chopped peppers, pesto, mascarpone, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the romano and sliced green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

    Tips from Home Chefs

    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Remove the pasta from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms and hollow green tops. Halve the tomatoes; place in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Roughly chop the peppers.

    2 Cook the sausage

    In a medium 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 bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a bowl. Cover with foil to keep warm.

    Cook the sausage
    Cook the zucchini
    3 Cook the zucchini

    In the pan of reserved fond, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the sliced white bottoms of the scallions 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, 1 to 2 minutes, or until softened and combined. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. 

    4 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, using your hands, carefully separate the strands of pasta. Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

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

    To the pot of cooked pasta, add the cooked sausage, seasoned tomatoes, cooked zucchini, chopped peppers, pesto, mascarpone, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined and the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta garnished with the romano and sliced green tops of the scallions. Enjoy!

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