Turned out, the substitutions didn’t really fly for me, although my Gonzo husband liked it. Hey, one out of two ain’t bad.
And that’s the thing when cooking – it’s an experiment. It’s subjective. As with all things that embrace opinion over fact, some folks will like it, others won’t. But the important thing is to keep trying. Or in this case, keep cooking.
Here’s the scoop. I took the Penne with Zucchini Pistou recipe from July 2010’s Cooking Light magazine and tweaked it a bit.
Case in point:
• Instead of pine nuts (super expensive at $8/bag) I subbed in sunflower seeds (über cheap – already in my pantry!). Never mind the fact that the sweet buttery richness of the pine nut is far superior (I think, at least as a snacking food) to the humble sunflower seed.
• Then I used half basil and half wild arugula instead of all basil.
What I ended up was, obviously, a perfectly edible dish, one that was light and fresh but without any oomph to speak of. It completely lacked the creamy, cheesy richness of the version I enjoyed at my friend Shannon’s house. So instead of following my suggestions on this one, I’d suggest heading over to www.cookinglight.com and checking out their much better version (search “Penne with Zucchini Pistou”).
And if yours doesn’t turn out, do what I should have done: add more cheese!