Tomato Zucchini Penne with Pesto
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Tomato Zucchini Penne with Pesto

Sugar enhances and balances the strong flavours of basil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese, and reduces the acidity of the tomatoes in this delicious pesto sauce.

  • Prep Time
    10 minutes
  • Cook Time
    10 minutes
  • Serves
  • Experience


  • 2 cups whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to the package directions until "al dente" (tender but firm).
  2. Drain well; transfer to larger serving dish.
  3. In a food processor or blender, combine basil, oil, garlic, and sugar.
  4. Blend in Parmesan and ricotta into the food processor.
  5. Place zucchini in a large casserole dish with 1 tbsp of water and microwave for 3 minutes on high, drain.
  6. Add zucchini, pesto and salt to pasta, toss well.
  7. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.