Pasta with Zucchini and Tomatoes

One of my favorite ingredients to include with my pasta is zucchini and of course tomatoes. And although it’s reasonable to think that this recipe is more of a summer dish, I actually make it all year round!

pasta with zucchini and tomatoes in bowl

It’s quick and easy, delicious, and most importantly healthy! You can have it ready on the table in under 30 minutes. This is a super flexible Italian recipe, and I offer lots of tips throughout this post, including a video.

Recipe summary

Here’s a quick cooking overview of the recipe. For specific steps and measurements keep reading. While the pasta of your choice is boiling, you cook up the zucchini along with some tomatoes in a skillet with olive oil and garlic and then toss it together with some Italian fresh herbs.

This recipe produces about 4 servings.

Recipe Video

If you want to watch along, or prefer video instead of reading, then watch my video right below which I have on my YouTube channel. However, I do not make the same measurements as in this post, which is for 4 servings, vs. 2 in my video.

YouTube player

Ingredients List

recipe ingredients

Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need to get started.

  • Pasta. I use any shape. In the video I used farfalle (bow ties), but I often use spaghetti.
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Zucchini cut in half-moon or quarter moon slices. Any variety will do. The most common type is black beauty. Estimate one zucchini per person.
  • Tomatoes chopped. You can use any type of tomato, including cherry or grape tomatoes!
  • Fresh basil.
  • Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese.
  • Ground black pepper (optional).

How to Make it

Here are the step by step instructions for how to make my pasta and zucchini recipe. use the recipe card below for specific measurements and/or to print it out.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in the pasta. Periodically stir to prevent the pasta from sticking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat the olive oil over low-medium heat.
  3. Add in the chopped garlic and stir to coat. Let cook until fragrant. Make sure not to let the garlic burn.
add in zucchini and cook down in pan
  1. Add in the zucchini and stir to coat. Increase heat to medium. Cover and let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking. You want to trap those juices!
add in tomatoes and cook down
  1. Add in the chopped tomatoes, stir, and let cook down for about 5 or 10 minutes.
  2. When the pasta is done, drain it but reserve some pasta water off to the side in case you need it later.
  3. When the zucchini and tomatoes are cooked down, meaning they are fork-tender, then add in the pasta directly to the pan.
  4. Mix to combine and then top with some fresh basil, cracked black pepper (if using), and some grated Italian cheese.

Recipe Card

pasta zucchini tomatoes bowties th

Pasta Bowties with Zucchini and Tomatoes

You can use any type of short or long pasta with this zucchini recipe. This is a classic Italian recipe that is so easy to make… and it's healthy!
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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 508kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 lb Pasta any shape
  • 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove Garlic chopped
  • 3-4 Zucchini (small) sliced
  • 4 Tomatoes chopped
  • 5-7 Fresh basil leaves chopped/sliced
  • 1/4 cup Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese to taste
  • 1/8 tsp Ground black pepper optional

Instructions

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in the pasta. Periodically stir to prevent the pasta from sticking.
    3/4 lb Pasta
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat the olive oil over low-medium heat.
    1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • Add in the chopped garlic and stir to coat. Let cook until fragrant. Make sure not to let the garlic burn.
    1 clove Garlic
  • Add in the zucchini and stir to coat. Increase heat to medium. Cover and let cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure even cooking and avoid burning.
    3-4 Zucchini (small)
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes, stir, and let cook down for about 5 or 10 more minutes, making sure not to cook off the liquid.
    4 Tomatoes
  • When the pasta is done, drain it but reserve some pasta water off to the side in case you need it later.
  • When the zucchini and tomatoes are cooked down, meaning they are fork-tender, then add in the pasta directly to the pan. Add in some of the reserved pasta water if the vegetables cooked down too much.
  • Mix to combine and then top with some fresh basil, cracked black pepper (if using), and some grated Italian cheese.
    5-7 Fresh basil leaves, 1/4 cup Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, 1/8 tsp Ground black pepper

Notes

Above nutritional data are estimates calculated by API integration. 
  1. Any type of pasta will work. I’ve made this recipe with short, long, thin, and thick pastas. 
  2. Any type of tomatoes will work. However cherry tomatoes have a lot of seeds so I avoid those if I can. 
  3. Keep the lid on to help trap the steam and keep the vegetables in their own juices. 
  4. Serve with some Italian bread, salad, or even some chicken! See post for additional ideas and links.

Nutrition

Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 876mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1371IU | Vitamin C: 43mg | Calcium: 123mg | Iron: 2mg

Recipe Tips and Modifications

Here are some tips that I’ve learned over the years and that you might find helpful.

  1. Always reserve some pasta water off to the side. If the vegetables cook down too much and the juices evaporate, you’ll want this extra liquid to loosen things up.
  2. Feel free to add in additional vegetables, such as chopped asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms, or even some olives.
  3. Estimate one small zucchini per person. If you don’t have enough zucchini, don’t stress about it – use what you have and accommodate.

Goes Well With…

Here are some ideas for what you can serve with your pasta and zucchini.

authentic italian bread th

Enjoy some homemade Italian bread as a side dish.

italian chicken cutlets th

Serve with some Italian chicken cutlets – this is a great companion to nearly any pasta dish.

how to make italian green beans recipe th

Italian green beans cooked in olive oil and garlic also goes great with zucchini.

I hope you enjoyed this simple Italian pasta recipe! If you liked, it please let me know with a rating in the comments below. Also, tell me if you made any changes to make it your own!

Liz

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Pasta with Zucchini and Tomatoes

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