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Ziti with Zucchini, Basil and Walnut Pesto

4 to 6 Servings

40 minutes

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This summery vegetarian pasta is an adaptation of a recipe by Francesca Montillo. The zucchini that’s the base of this pesto is raw, so the flavor is fresh, clean and subtly sweet, and a perfect backdrop for the other more intensely flavored ingredients. The result is a summery vegetarian pasta, our adaptation of a recipe by Francesca Montillo. Zucchini contains a lot of moisture, but shredding, salting it and wringing it dry removes water that would otherwise dilute the pesto and also helps ensure the pesto purees nicely in the food processor.

4 to 6



Don’t be shy about squeezing the shredded zucchini. Wring out as much water as you can. The drier the zucchini, the better the flavor and consistency of the pesto.

40 minutes


  • 1

    pound zucchini, shredded on the large holes of a box grater

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper


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Jennifer B.
June 11, 2022
Great light pasta
I didn't even notice the zucchini, it got wrapped the excellent sauce. Great accompaniment to any dish.
christine d.

We didn't think there was a strong standout flavor in the pesto and the color was more red than green. Despite both criticisms, we liked the pesto.

Peter F.

I can never find peppadew peppers, what is a good substitute?

Lynn C.

Hi Peter -

Any pickled sweet cherry peppers will do.

The Milk Street Team

Carolyn M.

I made this without the peppadew peppers and it was Really good as a main.
I tossed some roasted chicken as an alternate.

I also put Mama Lil Peppers on the side for spicy for me so good