Friday, August 12, 2011

Zucchini & Pesto Pasta Salad

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Yes. This is finally happening.

Ehhrm. Hi there! I'm Tobias - the "T" in the title - and a complete greenhorn when it comes to foodblogging.

Yet, here I am. And so are you. Thank you for that.
After a tough and lengthy time of planning how to pull this off  (do you know what an exhausting process it can be just to come up with a nice name?!) I can finally present you the very first post on my brand new nice and shiny foodblog! Tada! FYI, I just tapped myself on the shoulder for that.

Soo, what's to expect in the future?
There are certain attributes that I like.
I like me recipes:

Layed-back. Cooking and baking is supposed to be fun. At least for me. When I find myself in the kitchen close to a nervous breakdown, yelling things like "Why are you DOING this to me? What's WRONG with you?! I'm supposed to WHAT?! HOW?!! What MORE do I have to do to make this work?" - it's not fun anymore. It's stress. I'm not in a break-up fight. I'm cooking.
While sometimes it's worth going the extra mile, stepping out of ones comfort zone and acquiring new skills, it just has to seem FEASIBLE. This especially applies to weekday dishes.

Not too pricey. There is always a certain limit. When that is passed, it just does not seem worth it to me, anymore. So no matter how delicious, extravagant and gorgeous the finished meal may be, a price that's TOO high overshadows the joy.

PRETTY! C'mon! I am not going to spend my time in the kitchen just to force an unidentifiable beige goop down either mine or other's throats. Especially simple food dressed to impress has always something satisfying to me.

So, while there are always exception, my agenda is going to be: Delicious, pretty, DOABLE recipes. :)

Oh, and I am not afraid of NOT doing EVERYTHING from scratch! Embrace the semi-selfmade, people!

That's why my very first - did you just hear that? - recipe is going to be this super simple, quick pasta salad that still kinda got it. You can whip it up last minute for a potluck BBQ and I guarantee you it's still not going to be that weird dish nobody's taken just a spoon of. In fact, just this summer I brought it with me three times and on each occasion was asked for the recipe, so, there you go. ;)

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Zucchini & Pesto Pasta Salad
This makes a huge portion to feed a crowd, so make sure your bowl is large enough or take two.
  • 3 medium sized Zucchini
  • 1 jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil (about 150g or 5.5 oz, drained)
  • 190g - 200g Pesto alla Genovese or your favourite basil-pesto (self-made or store-bought, about 6.7oz)
  • 1 bag of penne pasta (about 500g or 16oz, whole wheat or regular)
  • 1 pack of baby leaf spinach (frozen, 450g or 16oz)
  • 125g grated parmesan (4.4 oz, fresh or store-bought)
  • 1 tbs oregano (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I use freshly ground mixed pepper)

  1. Bring water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In the meantime, using a kettle or another pot, bring another 1.5l (50 fl. oz) to boil
  3. Slice zucchini as thick as a finger, half or quarter them afterwards. You want them nice and chunky, yet bite-sized.
  4. In another pan or pot, thaw spinach under low heat until it is hot. Set aside.
  5. Drain the dried tomatoes and slice them lengthwise into 3 stripes each. Set aside.
  6. In a heat-proof bowl, pour the boiling-hot water from the kettle over zucchini to blanch them, leave for about 10 minutes.
  7. Drain pasta and pour it in a very large bowl, tossing it with about 1/3 of the pesto to prevent the pasta from sticking.
  8. Drain zucchini and combine with the pasta.
  9. Add spinach to the mix.
  10. Add remaining pesto along with the parmesan. mix well. As the ingredients are still warm, the cheese will melt.
  11. Add tomatoes and oregano (optional)
  12. Season with salt and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper.
  13. Let it cool and dig in!
That's it. So easy. So good. The Zucchini won't be raw anymore but still keep a nice crunch to it.
I'm sure that you can leave a nice amount of this salad home for lunch the next day.

My very first post. A summery salad although the blog title refers to cake. Yeah, that's how I roll. The next recipe sure has to be something sweet, right?

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Enjoy!

6 comments:

  1. First post? Seriously? What beautiful photos! I will be back to see what else you decide to dish up.

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  2. Hi Tessa! Yes, my very first post. And that makes you the very first person to leave a comment on my blog! Thank you! And also for liking my photos.
    Let's just say it took quite some preparatory work. ;)

    Tobias

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  3. Hey, love your recipe!

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  4. Hey what a beautiful page you made up here.
    I love the pictures, they are great.
    But I do love the pasta salad. I've tasted it in the summer at a party, and it was georgious! It tasted that yummi, I've asked everyone who created it. Now I see it isn't that complicated and I will probably try it on my own. Everyone reading this, taste it, it tasts sooo yummi! And Tobi, please keep on cooking and creating so lovely things like this! Keep goin!
    Greetings, Linda

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  5. Thank you so much, Linda! I'm literally smiling from ear to ear right now! Such sweet words. And about the part with me keeping on cooking: That's the plan! ;) XOXO

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