Zucchini Fettuccini with Pesto and Cauliflower Bolognese | Wine Enthusiast
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Zucchini Fettuccini with Pesto and Cauliflower Bolognese


Zucchini Fettuccini with Pesto:
4 large zucchini or yellow squash
Kosher salt
5 medium vine-ripened tomatoes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup pine nuts
⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Cauliflower Bolognese:
1 large onion or 2 small, cut into 1-inch dice
2 large carrots, cut into ½-inch dice
3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch dice
4 cloves garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
Kosher salt
3 pounds grated cauliflower
2 cups tomato paste
3 cups hearty red wine such as Syrah


Zucchini Fettuccini with Pesto:

Trim and peel the zucchini, then use a mandolin or a vegetable peeler to thinly slice lengthwise into wide ribbons (stop when you get to the seeds). Cut the ribbons into ¼-to-½-inch-wide strips to make them look like fettuccine. Transfer to a colander and toss with ¾ teaspoon salt; let drain in the sink, tossing occasionally, about 30 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry.

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add ½ cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Cauliflower Bolognese:

In a food processor, puree onion, carrots, celery, and garlic into a coarse paste. In a large pan over medium heat, coat pan with olive oil. Add the pureed veggies and season generously with salt. Bring the pan to a medium-high heat and cook until all the water has evaporated and the mixture becomes nice and brown, stirring frequently, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Spread the grated cauliflower on to a cookie sheet and brown in a 350°F oven approximately 10 minutes, then add to pot with browned vegetable puree.

Add the tomato paste and cook until brown about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the red wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half, another 4 to 5 minutes. Add water to the pan until the water is about 1 inch above the cauliflower. Toss in the bay leaves and the bundle of thyme and stir to combine everything. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.

As the water evaporates you will gradually need to add more, about 2 to 3 cups at a time. Don’t be shy about adding water during the cooking process, you can always cook it out. If you try to add all the water in the beginning, you will have boiled cauliflower sauce rather than a rich, thick meaty sauce. Stir and taste frequently. Season with salt, if needed. Simmer for 3½ to 4 hours.

Pair It

“The 2009 Black Sears Zinfandel is dark purple colored, with heady aromas of white pepper, blackberries, and maple along with hints of bacon and wild brush; true to the Howell Mountain terroir,” says Chef Dalzell. “The palate is bold and generous with juicy wild plums, blueberries, and blackberries fusing with creamy oak and nutmeg. This wine is seamless, with great fruit purity, soft tannins and a complexity that draws you in for another taste. The big fruit in the wine will be a classic Italian red wine and pasta pairing for the vegetarian fettuccini.

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