Zucchini Pesto Provinciale

What’s lightening quick, goes with just about anything and uses up even more of the overflow of zucchini?
The title gave it away, didn’t it?

Looking for dinner inspiration, I gazed over my garden. I grew some of my own stuff this year, but now my garden is getting that late August hue of tan with many of the plants either beginning to shrivel or by going to seed; my garlic being one of them. Where the zucchini still overflowith, my garlic has met it’s match and I reluctantly bowed to mother nature and pulled it. I’m always excited to get the fresh garlic but, it being the first to go, does always symbolize the beginning of the end. In celebration of it and my surprising lack of basil, I decided to whip up a different pesto this week.

Zucchini Provinciale, was something my Mom used to make for us as kids and to my surprise, it was standard beginner fare in a culinary class. It makes an excellent side dish, consisting of sautéd onion, garlic, zucchini, finished with fresh tomatoes and parmigiano. I always liked it, even as a kid, so I took that same idea, minus the cheese, to create the pesto.


1 Medium Zucchini
3 Tablespoons Pine Nuts, toasted
1/4 Cup Sundried Tomatoes, about 5-6, reconstituted in water
3 Cloves of Garlic
2 – 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
450g Orzo
1 Small Zucchini, optional
1 Field Tomato, optional

Add the dried tomatoes to a large measuring cup and pour over enough boiling water to just cover them.
In a dry sauté pan, lightly toast the pine nuts.
Combine the zucchini, garlic cloves, and nuts in the bowl of a food processor.
With the motor running, add the tomatoes, once they have softened, and the olive oil through the feeder tube, scraping the sides as necessary.
Start with about a 1/8 teaspoon of salt and a quick grind of pepper, adjusting to your liking.
In a large pot, boil the orzo in lightly salted water, or as to it’s package directions to al dente.
Seed the field tomato and cut it and the small zucchini into matchsticks, if using.
Drain and stir in the zucchini, tomato and about 1/2 cup of the zucchini pesto.
Chill and serve.

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I'm a chef, food stylist, cancer survivor, recipe developer, art director and photographer. My obsession for food, how it looks and makes me healthier has driven my passion for chronicling my journey through photos. Find more about me on: http://restarteating.com http://veganvisitor.com or my portfolio at: http://www.foodandphotography.com

6 thoughts on “Zucchini Pesto Provinciale”

  1. What a terrificly unique pesto! I love it. Thanks so much for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

    Just don’t tell me that summer is almost over….for us in Nova Scotia it feels like it’s just beginning.

  2. What a great way to use up at least one of those monster zucchini in my fridge. This pasta dish looks and sounds amazing. It is one for the books for sure!!!

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