What we love about this creamy zucchini pasta
- We have loaded this recipe with as much zucchini as we could. Besides the chopped pieces that are seared until they are beautifully golden, we shredded more and added it to the sauce.
- Every now and then, we make a recipe that knocks our own socks off. This is one of them – it’s simple, fresh, flavorful and nutritious, plus it comes together super quickly!
Here’s what you’ll need to make it
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Ingredients & Substitutions
- Half & half – Coconut milk substitutes perfectly for this, or feel free to use heavy cream (the sauce will be a little thicker).
- Chicken stock – You can use vegetable stock alternatively with the same results.
- Pecorino romano cheese – You can substitute you favorite grated cheese if you don’t have pecorino. To make this dairy free, use dairy free parmesan or 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast.
- Fresh basil
How to make this creamy zucchini pasta
Cook the pasta. In a large pot of salted water, cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, drain and set aside.
Sauté zucchini. Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat, allow to heat through then add garlic. When garlic is fragrant, add chopped zucchini. Stirring only when necessary to help with browning, cook the zucchini for 2-3 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
Make the sauce. In the pasta pot, melt butter and whisk in flour to form a roux. Stir in cream and stock, whisking until it is a smooth consistent texture. Add zucchini and pecorino romano, stir until well incorporated. Simmer for a few minutes until sauce has thickened.
Toss it together. Return the pasta to the pot and stir in chopped zucchini. When everything is well sauced, garnish with fresh basil and additional pecorino romano cheese.
Everything you need to know about zucchini pasta
Zucchini is a quick-cooking vegetable. The key is to avoid overcooking it; remove it from the heat as soon as it becomes tender and turns golden. Some cooking methods, such as boiling or steaming, tend to generate and trap moisture but zucchini itself already contains a considerable amount of moisture. When sautéing, it’s best to skip the lid and avoid overcrowding the pan. These tips will help you maintain a tender yet palatable texture for your zucchini.
If your zucchini seems a bit slimy when you cut it, then it is probably overripe or going bad. Zucchinis cook best when they are ripe but firm. As they age and become overripe, their flesh tends to become softer and slightly mushy, resulting in an unpleasant slimy texture.
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- 1 16-ounce package fusilli
- 2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
- 2 zucchini, shredded
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup half and half
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon grated pecorino romano cheese
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- In a large pot of salted water, cook fusilli to al denté, according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, drain and set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a separate skillet over medium-high, heat olive oil and sauté the zucchini and garlic until golden brown. Try not to stir too much to encourage browning. Season with salt & pepper, to taste.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- In the pasta pot, melt butter and whisk in flour to make a roux over medium heat. Add cream and stock, whisking until smooth. Stir in shredded zucchini, pecorino romano cheese and salt. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, allowing sauce to thicken.
- Return pasta to the pot and transfer sautéd zucchini along with any garlic and oil that remains in the skillet.
- Stir to coat the pasta in the sauce while adding a little pasta water. Heat until zucchini is heated through.
- Before serving, stir in fresh basil and adjust seasoning with salt & pepper, to taste.
- Prep Time: 6 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Category: Fusilli
- Method: Stovetop
Keywords: creamy zucchini pasta, zucchini pasta, zucchini pasta recipe