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Zesty Jalapeño Pesto Pasta with Zucchini and Corn

  • Author: Misfits Market


  • 2 cups packed basil leaves, plus more for serving
  • 2  jalapeño peppers, stems and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch half circles
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed
  • 1 pound pappardelle pasta


  • In a food processor, add basil, jalapeños, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Blitz until almost smooth. With the motor running on low, slowly stream in 1/2 cup of olive oil until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high. Add sliced zucchini and a pinch of salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until zucchini begins to brown and become jammy, about 10-12 minutes.
  • Turn heat to medium, then add corn and another pinch of salt. Cook until corn looks plump and bright yellow, roughly 3-5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions in heavily-salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
  • Transfer pasta into the pan with zucchini and corn. Add pesto and toss vigorously, adding pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time until the pasta is fully coated and appears glossy.
  • Divide pasta evenly, then top with more Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil leaves. Serve immediately.