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Pasta with Toasted Pumpkin Seed Pesto

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Pasta with Toasted Pumpkin Seed Pesto

pestoThis pesto has an unexpected twist, using a spice blend known as za’atar and cinnamon with a bright burst of lemon.

Penne with Toasted Pumpkin Seed Pesto

  • ¾ c. raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 T. za’atar
  • ¼ t. cinnamon
  • 1 ½ t. salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 c. flat leaf Italian parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 ¼ c. zucchini cubed
  • ¼ c. lemon juice + lemon zest for garnish
  • Gluten free, vegan penne pasta, preferred brand Bisogno ( in dairy case)


  1. Heat pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking,  heat the pumpkin seeds on medium heat in a dry non-stick pan with za’atar, cinnamon, salt and pepper for five minutes or until seeds are brown and toasted
  2. Set 1 T. of seeds aside for garnish. Add remaining seeds to food processor with remaining ingredients and pulse until combined.  The mixture should be fully incorporated but still have texture.  Add additional salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add enough of the pesto mixture to cooked pasta to coat the pasta. Serve remaining pesto on the side if additional sauce is wanted.
  4. Garnish with seeds, chopped fresh parsley, and lemon zest. Serve with lemon wedges.
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