I asked my friend Katie from Katie’s Cucina over today to share a recipe with you all. If you haven’t been to Katie’s blog before you are in for a treat. She totally makes my kind of food…and her photography is gorgeous. I guarantee it will make you hungry. Katie will tell you a little about how we met…she’s a sweet gal and I’m really happy we have been able to meet face to face two times already. I’m looking forward to more visits together in our future. Thanks for stopping by Katie!
Hi, my name is Katie and I’m the author and voice behind Katie’s Cucina. When Aggie asked me to guest blog for her I was beyond excited. I met Aggie earlier this year at the Orlando Food Blog Forum Conference. We sat together at lunch and talked about our blogs and life. A month later we had the chance to work together and raise money for Share our Strength. A variety of food bloggers in Central Florida got together and hosted a bake-sale! It was a lot of fun and gave all of us a chance to really get to know one another. Our bake sale was so successful (we raised over $600 in 2 hours and had an additional $700 in cash donations) that we are all planning on having another bake-sale next year! Now that you know how Aggie and I met I’ll tell you a little bit about myself.
I started cooking dinner for my family at age 9 and haven’t stopped since. I’m always in search of quick, easy, and healthy recipes. It’s not all healthy though, in the most recent years I’ve found a new love for baking. You can definitely find some sweet treats on my blog on a weekly basis! You’ll also find a wide variety of vegetarian meals; like the one I’m sharing today. My mom tells me that as a kid I would only eat sides of vegetables. I never liked the traditional “kid foods” like chicken nuggets, burgers, hot dogs, and grilled cheese. I’ve pretty much kept with the same “vegetarian” eating style throughout my life. Not because I need too or because I feel like it’s a healthier lifestyle, but because it’s what I like. Some people like a big fat juicy steak — I prefer steamed asparagus! lol. I can’t deny it though, I do have a love affair with bacon. It’s the one thing that would hold me back from being a full fledged vegetarian. I know its not the healthiest type of meat, but it sure does taste good. I don’t just eat bacon I do indulge from time-to-time (when I’m in the mood) on poultry and beef as well. I live in Florida and my husband loves to fish, so we eat quite a bit of seafood in our home. I’m so incredibly thankful that my husband has a diverse pallet like mine. I can typically make 1-2 meatless meals for him each week and he is 100% satisfied. He loves vegetables and is addicted to fruit (the man eats more fruit than any person I know)! I hope you’ll come visit Katie’s Cucina. I have a wide variety of recipes; between the recipes I’ve created as well as recipes I’ve discovered from others!
Now, let’s talk about todays recipe…
I’m not sure about you, but I subscribe to quite a few cooking magazines. One of my favorites is Everyday with Rachael Ray. I can always count on finding at least a handful or two of quick recipes to whip up during my hectic work week. I found this recipe in the August issue and knew I had to make it. Best of all I had all of the ingredients in my home.
I wasn’t sure if my husband would like it. He likes lime, but not over powering lime. The original recipe called for the juice of two limes. I altered it and only used the juice of one lime, and it still had more than enough tangy flavor of lime throughout the pasta dish. For once I didn’t have penne on hand so I used (a sister) tube pasta to replace it, ziti. I must admit that I’m notorious for altering a recipe on the first try. If I don’t have one ingredient I replace it with a similar ingredient and vice-versa. One thing I would not alter in this recipe would be the pistachios. If you are a pistachio lover you will love using them in this pasta dish. My husband is not a big fan of nuts in dishes, but I knew he would make an exception for this dish since he adores pistachios and eats them on a weekly basis! If you love fresh herbs, zucchini, and pistachios then you will love this pasta dish.
*We ate this dish as is with no meat; however, you could easily add grilled chicken or shrimp to this dish and it would be just as good!
1 cup grated Pecorino-Romano cheese (or Parmesan) (divided)
1/2 cup pistachios, shelled, chopped, and toasted
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the starchy cooking water.
2. While the pasta is cooking, halve the zucchini lengthwise, and thinly slice into 1/4-inch-by-2-inch strips.
3. In a large skillet, heat the extra virgin olive oil, over medium-high heat. Stir in the chili pepper and garlic for a minute. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender, roughly 8-10 minutes.
4. While the zucchini is cooking in a small frying pan heat the chopped pistachios on medium heat. Stir frequently to ensure they don’t burn. As soon as you see them starting to brown remove them from the heat.
5. Add the lime juice to the zucchini and stir in the butter to melt. Add the pasta, parsley, mint, basil, handful of cheese, and the reserved starchy cooking water. Toss for 1-2 minutes. Top with more cheese and the toasted pistachios.