Tomato, zucchini

Fusilli + Zucchini Pesto, Sunflower Seeds and Sun Gold Tomatoes

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Fusilli + Zucchini Pesto, Sunflower Seeds and Sun Gold Tomatoes

Serves 4  | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes

Pesto does not have to include just basil. Zucchini takes the place of basil and sunflower seeds takeover for pine nuts. Sunflower seeds are jam packed with essential nutrients that hydrate skin and aid in digestion. If you aren’t into gluten, you can opt for a gluten free pasta. There are many great brands to choose from now. 


  • (For the zucchini pesto) 
  • 1 medium size zucchini, roughly chopped
    1 clove of garlic
    1/4 cup toasted sunflower
    3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 large handful arugula (optional) 
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt to taste 
  • 1 box fusilli (or gluten free fusilli)
    1 1/2 cups sungold tomatoes, halved
    1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese 1 handful of fresh basil
    2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds 

Chef Tips

A box of pasta serves between 4-6 people depending on individual appetites. Make a whole box and you’ll have lunch ready to go for the next day. The zucchini pesto will also make an incredible dressing or sauce for a grilled meat or fish. 


Step 1 (For the zucchini pesto) 

Bring a large pot of water (and a few tablespoons of salt) to a boil prior to starting. 

Combine the zucchini, garlic, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, arugula (if using) and olive oil in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth, starting on a low speed and gradually increasing until the ingredients are nice and smooth. 

Season with salt to taste. The pesto will hold for at least three days in the refrigerator. 

Step 2 

Cook the pasta according to instructions on the package. I always recommend cooking the pasta toward the shorter end. Reserve at least a cup of the cooking liquid.

Once the pasta is cooked, add it to a large skillet over medium heat. Add in about a cup of the pesto and a laddle of pasta water. This will help create the sauce. There should be enough sauce to coat the noodle and a little liquid in the pan to keep the noodles moist. Off the heat stir in the tomatoes, parmesan, basil and sunflower seeds. Season with salt to taste and serve immediately.