Pappardelle with Zucchini and Parsley-Cilantro Pesto

Another adaptation from Rachel Ray; the pesto is absolutely delicious and would make a vibrant topping for grilled chicken or fish or you could tweak it a bit to turn it into a marinade or dressing. The original recipe called for one pound of pasta but I think the flavors of the pesto and zucchini would shine more with a little less pasta. You can leave the chicken out if you want a vegetarian dish.

For the Pesto:
1 small bunch cilantro
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup parmesan or romano cheese
1/2 t salt
freshly ground pepper
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
In a food processor, pulse everything but the olive oil until chopped fine. Add the EVOO and pulse until combined.

For the Pasta:
12 oz. egg tagliatelle or pappardelle
2 zucchini, julienned (you can do this with a mandoline or by hand- or just sliced thin)
4 green onions, chopped (white and green parts)
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper
1 chicken breast, cut into thin strips
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
additional Parmesan for serving
Start a pot of water and cook the pasta according to the directions, saving about 1 cup of pasta water at the end. Heat the EVOO and saute chicken strips for about 3 minutes, stirring. Remove chicken and add garlic, zucchini, crushed red pepper and green onions. Saute until zucchini is wilted but still a little crisp, about 4 minutes. Return the chicken and add the pesto; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the pasta and enough water to make the pasta moist, heating the whole concoction over medium heat until the sauce is absorbed and everything looks just right. Serve with additional cheese.

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