Creamy Pesto Pasta


Nadia's Red Kitchen

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Creamy Pesto Pasta

Difficulty: Easy

A quick and easy dinner packed full of flavour and vegetable goodness. You will need to have my pesto made and ready for this dish. The addition of the mint leaves adds a fresh flavour to the pesto but you can leave it out if you prefer.


  • 50g parmesan cheese (grated for traditional method)
  • 200g zucchini (cut into 3-4 pieces for thermal method or grated and drained for traditional method)
  • 5-10 mint leaves
  • 200g basil pesto (see recipe)
  • 1 brown onion (cut into quarters for thermal method, chopped for traditional method)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed for traditional method)
  • 400g water (for thermal method)
  • 1 tbsp chicken or vegetable stock paste (use your favourite stock paste recipe for thermal cookers)
  • 350g dried penne or fusilli pasta
  • 100g pouring/whipping cream (200g for traditional method)
  • 20g olive oil (traditional method only)


Thermal Method

  1. Place parmesan cheese in bowl and grate for 10 seconds, speed 10. Set aside.
  2. Place garlic, onion, zucchini and pesto into bowl and chop for 3 seconds, speed 7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  3. Add stock paste, water, cream and pasta and cook for 12 minutes, reverse, speed soft/slow.
  4. Add peas and chopped mint leaves and mix with spatula. Cook for a further 2 mintues, 100 degrees, reverse, speed soft/slow.
  5. Transfer immediately into large serving dish and mix half the reserved parmesan through. Serve into individual serving bowls. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with reserved parmesan.

Traditional Method

  1. Fill a large pot with water and add a couple of teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Cook your pasta as per the packet instructions or until cooked al dente or the texture you prefer. Once cooked, strain and put back into the pot you cooked it in and add a little olive oil and mix so the pasta doesn’t stick together.
  2. In the meantime, in a frypan on a low to medium heat gently sauté the oil, garlic and onion for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add in the zucchini and pesto and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the zucchini has softened.
  4. Add in the cream, salt and pepper to taste and gently simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Pour the creamy sauce over the pasta and add the chopped mint and half the parmesan and mix through.
  6. Transfer to a large serving dish or individual serving bowl and sprinkle with extra parmesan and salt and pepper.