Somehow I always forget just how many zucchini you give us every year. And how the tomato plants are so weighed down with fruit that the vines just lay on the ground, giving into the weight of the ridiculously huge German Pinks.
And summer definitely means basil. That’s one thing I wish I could grow well. Anyone have trouble getting basil to grow? Ours always turns out thin and sad looking, more like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, so I just buy mine from the farmer’s market when I need it.
But zucchini and tomatoes? We are set. As long as we have this yard or a garden somewhere else, I will never buy zucchini or tomatoes ever again. We’ve got more than enough.
When Barilla contacted me to see if I’d like to try Barilla Plus, it was a no brainer. I already use their whole wheat/whole grain pastas for most dishes, and I was excited to try the Plus pasta. Their pasta has flaxseed, legumes and spelt along with the normal flour, and it’s just as good as their regular (non-whole wheat) pasta.
Since we’re in the height of our tomato and zucchini season, I wanted to make a summer-filled dish to try the pasta. Zucchini, tomatoes, and pesto are always a good idea, especially for a quick weeknight meal.
I’d love to make my own pasta all the time, but I know it just won’t happen. I love using whole wheat pastas the best, but this Barilla Plus was really good, especially coated in a summery pesto, sauteed veggies, and meatballs.
I mean…is pesto ever a bad idea? I don’t think so.
Farfalle with Meatballs, Walnut Pesto, and Summer Vegetables
Makes: 4 – 6 servings
- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup finely ground cornmeal
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
- 12 oz. farfalle or other short pasta
- 1 batch walnut pesto (recipe below)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the egg until the yolk is totally broken down.
- Stir the cornmeal, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, oregano, and pepper in with the egg.
- Add the ground beef to the egg and cornmeal mixture and gently mix them together until the cornmeal mixture is evenly distributed in the beef.
- Roll the ground beef into 1-inch rounds and place them on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the beef is cooked through.
- While the meatballs are baking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a palmful of salt and the farfalle pasta. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes until tender. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, place a skillet over medium heat. Halve and slice the zucchini into thin pieces and cook, in batches, in the skillet. Let the zucchini slices brown a bit on both sides before removing to a large bowl.
- After the zucchini is cooked, add your chopped tomatoes to the skillet and let them cook for 3-4 minutes in the pan. Pour the tomatoes over the zucchini in the bowl.
- When the meatballs are cooked, add them to the bowl with the zucchini and tomatoes and toss together.
- Toss 2-3 spoonfuls of the walnut pesto (recipe below) in with the meatball and veggie mixture and with the hot pasta. Serve together.
Basil Walnut Pesto
Makes: about 1/2 cup
- 4-5 cups fresh basil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/4 cup walnuts
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil
- Add the basil, garlic, walnuts, and salt to the bowl of a food processor or blender.
- Pulse until the basil and walnuts are finely chopped.
- Let the machine run and pour in the olive oil until you get the texture you want.
- Keep leftover pesto in the fridge or freeze in ice cube trays for later.
Want to try Barilla Plus?
I’ve got one gift package from Barilla to giveaway that comes with 2 boxes of their pasta to try plus a $25 gift card to get ingredients and make up a new pasta dish for yourself!
To Enter: Leave a comment telling me your favorite summer pasta mix-in. Fresh tomatoes? Chopped basil? Something fun and different like fresh corn or eggplant? Spill it!
For extra entries:
Share your favorite pasta recipe on Facebook – leave the link or the actual recipe, and leave comment here letting me know you did.
Follow @Barilla on Twitter and let me know you did.
Follow @branappetit on Twitter and let me know you did
Good Luck! Contest only open to US residents. Also, Barilla sent me the pasta to try and a gift card to get ingredients to make my dish – all opinions, like always, are my own.