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Fettucine with a Pesto of Fennel Fronds and Pine nuts, with sautéed zucchini, olives, walnuts and grated cheese

Delicious Fettucine Pasta tossed with zucchini, olives and cheese and a pesto of Fennel fronds with pine nuts and my home made Basil oil.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: continental, Italian
Servings: 4 portion
Author: Sujata Shukla


For the Pasta:

  • 200 gms pasta Fettucine
  • 2 litres water for cooking the pasta
  • 15 gms salt for the pasta
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons basil leaves minced
  • 1 cup zucchini sliced
  • 4 Olives
  • 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 1/4 cup cheese

For Garnish

  • 8 - 10 Walnuts shelled
  • to taste salt
  • to taste Fresh ground pepper


To Cook the Pasta: (Time: Cooking 8-10 minutes)

  • Top up the water in the pot/ pasta cooker, as per pasta package instructions and add salt. The pasta brand I used, recommended 1 litre for every 100 gm of pasta, and 7 gm of salt for each litre.
  • Bring the water in the pot back to a rolling boil (boiling all over the pot) and add the fettucine. Cook as per package instructions, stirring frequently. (The brand I used specified 6 minutes, and it was just right when I checked at 6 minutes).
    Cook the Pasta_PepperOnPizza.com
  • Turn off the stove when the pasta is done till al dente (cooked but firm to the bite), drain and set aside.
    Drain the cooked pasta

While the Pasta is cooking:

  • Grate the cheese. I used Cheddar, but any firm cheese of your choice would be good.
    Ingredients for Pesto pasta
  • Slice the zucchini into thin strips. Slice the olives into rings. I have taken olives stuffed with blue cheese, but plain olives or those stuffed with pimento may be used instead.
  • Shred the basil leaves, mince the garlic. If using dry basil, use 1/2 teaspoon of the same. Toast the walnuts lightly on a hot pan for about a minute, and set aside to cool.
  • Heat a pan and add olive oil. Add the garlic and basil leaves (or dry basil if using), sauté for a minute, taking care not to brown the garlic.
  • Add the zucchini, sprinkle a pinch of salt, sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the sliced olives, after reserving a few olive rings for garnish. Take the pan off the stove, so that the zucchini stop cooking.
    Add Zucchini and saute

To Put the Pasta together: (Time about 2 minutes)

  • Place the drained Pasta in a serving dish. Add the pesto and toss. I have made this pasta with a pesto of fennel fronds and pine nuts in a homemade basil oil. The same method would work with any pesto you use, with of course the flavours being different.
  • Add half the grated cheese, and toss. The cheese would begin to melt in the hot pasta. Add the cooked zucchini and olives. Mix them in.
  • Garnish with slices of walnut, the reserved olive rings and the remaining cheese as required. Season with fresh ground pepper and serve hot.
    Garnish the pasta