– Zucchini or summer squash – Extra virgin olive oil – Kosher salt – Garlic cloves – Red pepper flakes – Pasta of choice – Pine nuts – Lemon – Basil leaves – Cherry tomatoes – Chickpeas
First, make the jammy zucchini. Cut your zucchini lengthwise into quarters, then slice crosswise into chunks. Heat up a large cast iron skillet cook over medium-high heat with a generous amount of olive oil.
Once hot, add the zucchini, season with salt, and cook for 4-6 minutes until it’s got a light char on it. Then, add some thinly sliced garlic cloves and toss frequently for 2-3 minutes.
Turn down the heat to low and cook the zucchini for another 15ish minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is beautifully browned all over and soft and jammy in texture. Set aside 1/3 of the zucchini (this will be added to the pasta at the end) and use 2/3 of it for the zucchini pesto.
Once the zucchini has been caramelized, make the zucchini pesto. To the blitzed pine nuts, add approximately 2/3 of the caramelized zucchini (no need to be super precise), basil, and lemon zest.
Blend until pureed but still slightly chunky. Taste for seasonings, adding a pinch of salt as needed. Finally, assemble the zucchini pesto pasta. Top the pasta with the reserved jammy zucchini, chickpeas, sliced cherry tomatoes, and basil-garlic topping. Toss to combine, and season to taste.