Fried Zucchini Mint Pesto Pappardelle Pasta

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fried Zucchini
  • 2 zucchinis, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
 Mint Pesto Pasta
  • 1 pound dried pappardelle (or other long cut pasta)
  • 1 ½ cups fresh mint
  • ½ cup parsley (may sub spinach)
  • ¼ toasted pistachios (pecan or pine nuts work too)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup grated manchego cheese, plus more for topping
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • zest of ½ a lemon
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Make the pesto. In a food processor, combine the parsley, mint, garlic and pistachios and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, parmesan and manchego cheese. Process a few times more. Then with the food processor running stream in the olive oil and process to a puree. Season the pesto generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pappardelle until al dente. Reserve a cup or so of the cooking water and then drain the pasta.
  3. While the pasta cooks "fry" the zucchini. In a bowl, whisk together the egg and buttermilk. In another bowl, whisk together the panko, flour, parmesan, salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Dip each zucchini slice in the egg mixture to coat, then dredge through the breadcrumbs, pressing gently to adhere. Place in the skillet and cook until golden. This took me about 3 to 4 minutes per side. When finished, remove the slices and let drain on a paper towel.
  4. Add the pasta to a large serving bowl, or add it back to the large pot you boiled it in. Add the pesto and the a few tablespoons of the reserved water and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Add the fried zucchini and toss or serve the pasta and top each plate with the fried zucchini. Serve immediately and top with fresh grated machego cheese and a zest of lemon.

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