Pasta with Zucchini, Garlic and Olive Oil

Got zucchini? This simple dish of Pasta with Zucchini, Garlic and Olive Oil is packed with flavor and is easy to throw together.

Pasta with Zucchini, Garlic and Olive Oil by

“Zucchini” is one of those words that I just can’t spell right the first time. I totally depend on my computer’s spell checker to make sure I am spelling it right. I don’t know what’s so difficult about remembering it. I’ve always thought I’ve been a good speller, but I keep wanting to drop a ‘c’ and add an ‘n.’ Then there’s “portobello” – I like to mess that one up, too, by spelling it “portabella.” Maybe it’s because that’s how I pronounce it?

Well, however you spell it, zucchini may be a summer fruit, but luckily for us, it’s available all year round. And I’m picky about eating this Italian Squash. If you over cook it, it becomes a soggy mess that is not very appetizing.

Pasta with Zucchini, Garlic and Olive Oil by

I first saw this Michael Chiarello recipe when my oldest was my only-est and only a few months old. Mr. Chiarello made this on some morning show and I sat there mesmerized, nursing my boy, on the couch. I totally wanted to make it. But, back then (sounds so old) recipes weren’t so easily available online and I soon forgot about the zucchinis, the pasta and Mr. Chiarello.

Fast-forward 9-1/2 years and 2 more kids later and I’m FINALLY making this lovely dish. It certainly was worth the wait. A mandoline is really required to make the zucchini uniform and julienned to perfection. I had one in my cupboards, purchased from our local fair 7-some-odd years ago. So you see, this recipe has been a long time coming!

Pasta with Zucchini, Garlic and Olive Oil by

Bon Appétit!

Pasta with Zucchini, Garlic and Olive Oil

This is a wonderful dish to highlight a harvest of summer zucchini. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice


  • 5 qt water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 1 lb zucchini
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBS garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup basil, fresh, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 lemon, grated zest & juice
  • 2 TBS Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. In a large 8-quart stock pot bring to boil:
    • 5 qt water
    • 2 tsp salt
  2. When water in the pot is boiling, add:
    • 1 lb spaghetti
  3. Cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
  4. While the water comes to a boil and the pasta cooks, use a mandoline with the fine French-fry cutter and slice up:
    • 1 lb zucchini
  5. If you do not have a mandoline, cut by hand into the longest, finest julienne you can.
  6. If your zucchini is very finely cut, it does not need to be cooked. Otherwise, place in a colander, suspend over the pasta pot, cover the pot, and steam the zucchini until still slightly crunchy, about 2 minutes.
  7. In a small skillet over medium-high heat add:
    • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  8. When oil is hot, sauté for 2 minutes, or until light brown:
    • 2 TBS garlic cloves , minced
  9. Do not let the the garlic burn or it will turn bitter and need to be discarded.
  10. Quickly sauté for 1 min:
    • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  11. Mix in and remove from the heat:
    • 1/4 cup basil, fresh , coarsely chopped
  12. When the pasta is al dente, drain through a colander, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water.
  13. Pour the pasta into a warm serving bowl.
  14. Add zucchini and garlic mixture, along with:
    • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese , grated
    • 1 lemon , grated zest & juice
  15. Toss well, adding reserved pasta water as needed to make a smooth sauce.
  16. Garnish with:
    • 2 TBS Parmesan cheese , grated
  17. Serve immediately.

Prep Time:

Yield: Serves 4

Cook Time:

Pasta with Zucchini, Garlic and Olive Oil Detail

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2 Responses to Pasta with Zucchini, Garlic and Olive Oil

  1. What a simple and healthy dish! It's making me hungry!

  2. I need to make these cookies immediately….they look amazing.Pasta is my favorite and thanks for sharing ….

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