Spaghetti with zucchini is a light, summer dish using seasonal vegetables. Fresh zucchini, tomatoes and mozzarella come together for a quick and easy pasta that’s nutritious, yet tasty.
Summer is here, and that means it’s zucchini season!
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It was a lovely surprise when my mother walked in from the garden one day with three perfect zucchini. They seem to mature overnight, but we’re not complaining. Free organic produce is always a good thing! Ever since that day, we’ve been harvesting more, and more.
It’s not a bad problem to have. We love zucchini, not to mention the health benefits (potentially having anti-cancerous properties), especially when home grown without pesticides.
Wanting a fresh perspective on how to cook zucchini, I turned to Il Cucchiaio D’Argento (translation from Italian: “The Silver Spoon”). These recipes are tried and true, authentic Italian. My family and I were not disappointed by this spaghetti with zucchini recipe. In fact, we’ve made it a few times now, and it’s definitely a keeper. I hope you think so, too!
This recipe is pretty foolproof. The given proportions are a good starting point, but if you have fewer zucchini or more tomatoes, it is very adaptable and amounts are not critical in this dish. You can even omit the cheeses for a vegan version.
Do I Need to Salt Zucchini Before Cooking Spaghetti with Zucchini?
As with many zucchini dishes, this one isn’t going to win a beauty contest, but it makes up for it in flavor!
Spaghetti with Zucchini (Spaghetti con Zucchine)
Recipe adapted from Il Cucchiaio D’Argento Serves 5
FULL PRINTABLE RECIPE BELOW
- olive oil
- sage leaves
- plum tomatoes
- mozzarella cheese
- Parmigiano Reggiano DOP cheese
- black pepper
Prep the Ingredients
I used an OXO mandoline slicer and cut the slice at the #5 setting (just under 1/4″ thick). I also use these protective gloves after one too many accidents cutting my fingers and thumbs on sharp kitchen tools. You can also slice them with a knife, but be sure to cut them evenly.
Cut up the plum tomatoes. In my experience, using kitchen scissors is easiest/least messy.
Dice the mozzarella and grate the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (always buy a piece or Parmigiano cheese, never pre-grated).
Cook the Spaghetti
Put the water on for pasta. Salt the water generously and cook the spaghetti until al dente (see the cooking time on your pasta). By the time the water boils, your sauce should be cooking so that they’re ready at the same time. You definitely don’t want to rinse your pasta with cold water (Italian Nonnas will haunt you).
PRO TIP: remember to always reserve some pasta water in case your sauce is too dry!
Prepare the Zucchini and Tomato Sauce
In a medium sized, pan, sautée the garlic, whole onion, sage leaves, and celery stalks in the olive oil, over low heat, for approximately 5 minutes.
Next, add the tomatoes and bring to a low boil over medium heat.
Once the tomatoes start boiling, add the zucchini. Add salt and pepper to taste, then partially cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Once the zucchini has cooked for about 15 minutes, remove the whole onion, garlic, celery, and sage.
Combine the Spaghetti and Sauce
Add the cooked pasta to the pan of sauce with a little bit of pasta water, then add the mozzarella cheese to the pan.
Finish off with the grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and mix well. It shouldn’t be super saucy, but if it is too dry, add some pasta water.
Now, the fun part: taste test, and enjoy your spaghetti with zucchini!
You’ve made a masterpiece in under 30 minutes!
If you love zucchini or if you’re like me and have them coming out of your ears, try my zucchini lasagna recipe. It uses zucchini slices in place of sheets of pasta. It’s a lighter, but still filling, version of the classic pasta dish that’s perfect for summer (and it can be made with or without meat).
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- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 small onions or shallots
- 3 sage leaves
- 2 stalks celery
- 5 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 4 cups zucchini
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese, diced
- 2/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- salt & pepper, to taste
Prep the Ingredients
- Cut the zucchini into slices just under 1/4 inch thick (I used an OXO mandoline slicer and cut the slice at the #5 setting).
- Chop the tomatoes, cut the mozzarella into small cubes, and grate the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Set aside.
Cook the Spaghetti
- Put a large pot of water to boil. Start making the sauce (below).
- When the water boils, add salt and the spaghetti. Cook according to the directions until al dente (while still making the sauce). Taste the pasta for salt before it's ready.
Make the Sauce
- In a medium sized, pan, sautèe the garlic, whole onions, sage leaves, and celery stalks in the olive oil, over low heat, for approximately 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Once the tomatoes start simmering, add the zucchini. Add salt and pepper to taste, then cover with the lid slightly open for 15 minutes.
- When the zucchini is ready, remove the whole onion, garlic, celery, and sage (discard or use as desired). Taste for salt and pepper again.
Combine the Ingredients
- When the spaghetti and sauce are ready, add the pasta to the pan with a little bit of the water from the pot.
- Add the mozzarella cubes to the pan.
- Finish off with the grated Parmigiano Reggiano, and mix well. It shouldn't be super saucy, but if it is too dry, add more pasta water.
- Taste test. and serve!
- You can easily omit the cheese for a vegan dish (or for those with lactose intolerance.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 480Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 45mgSodium: 400mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 22g
Nutrition information is only estimated.
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