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Sugar enhances and balances the strong flavours of basil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese, and reduces the acidity of the tomatoes in this delicious pesto sauce. Makes 6 servings.

Tomato Zucchini Penne with Pesto

Ingredients

2 cups (500 mL) whole wheat penne pasta
1 cup (250 mL) fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
1 tbsp (15 mL) Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup (50 mL) ricotta cheese
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 tbsp (15 mL) water
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) cherry tomatoes, quartered

Instructions

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to the package directions until "al dente" (tender but firm). Drain well; transfer to larger serving dish.

In a food processor or blender, combine basil, oil, garlic, and sugar. Blend in Parmesan and ricotta. Set aside. Place zucchini in large casserole dish with 1 tbsp of water and microwave for 3 minutes on high, drain. Add zucchini, pesto and salt to pasta, toss well.

Garnish with cherry tomatoes.