Zucchini and Lemon Pasta Salad

Adding lightly roasted zucchini really seems to elevate a dish. With a little imagination, the zucchini half-moons might remind you of eating candy! This is a delightful meal with a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and fresh basil. Perfect for an easy lunch, or perhaps you serve it with a protein for a hearty dinner. It’s impressive that there are many brands of gluten-free pasta. It takes a little experimenting to find a brand where you like both the texture and the taste. I really like the Italian brand Jovial that has a delicious organic brown rice pasta. I added lightly toasted pistachios for crunch. Yum!

Brown Rice Pasta Salad

  • 3 large zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced to create half-moons
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly grated black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound pasta of your choice (I used gluten-free brown rice pasta)

Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 3-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virign olive oil
  • Kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup unsalted pistachios, lightly toasted and chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the zucchini slices with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the zucchini slices in a single layer on two baking sheets. Roast the zucchini for about 25 minutes or until tender and starting to brown. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cool.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, for the pasta. Once the water boils, add salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, following the package directions. Drain the pasta and place it in a large bowl. While the pasta is hot, add a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and toss to coat.

In a small bowl combine the lemon zest and lemon juice. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow steady stream. Season with salt and pepper and add the basil leaves. Toss the roasted zucchini with the pasta, pour the dressing over the pasta and add the pistachios. Garnish with more fresh basil leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4-6.

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