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Italian Zucchini Pasta

Posted by 2eatwellRD
July 25, 2016
Featured in: Inspired Vegetarian, Dinner
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Italian childhood favorite recipe for Italian Zucchini gets a makeover tossed with pasta!

This Italian childhood favorite is getting a makeover tossed with pasta!

~by Danielle Omar, MS, RD

Fried zucchini is one of my all-time favorite childhood foods. I can remember eating SO MUCH of it growing up that just the smell of it makes me happy.  Last weekend I went over to my sister’s house to pick up my daughter. My sister always has something cooking on the stove from her prolific garden. It can be squash, eggplant, tomatoes or zucchini, if she plants it, it will grow!

When I walked into the house I immediately smelled the deliciousness. Since we eat Sunday dinner together and it was a Sunday, I was not surprised. But the smell!  It was so familiar, yet I couldn’t place it. My senses told me it was fried zucchini, but my head was telling me it couldn’t be. You see fried zucchini (or just “zucchini” as we call it) is not something we often make.

First of all, it’s time consuming. You have to stand at the stove and watch the zucchini cook. It’s not one of those walk away from the stove dishes. The zucchini needs love. It needs flipping. The flame needs tending to maintain the correct amount of heat. You can’t burn the zucchini. At all. There’s a distinct amount of browning that must occur to achieve the perfect zucchini taste. If the zucchini isn’t sautéed to perfection, the whole dish is ruined.

As I walk into the kitchen I ask what is that smell?  

In full sister-defense-mode, mine declares innocently, I don’t know, what do you smell?

I say, I don’t know, but it’s something good. It smells like fried zucchini.

Knowing that if I got my hands on her zucchini it would devoured, she casually replied, I don’t know what you smell.

It was coy. It was calculated. It wasn’t a lie and yet it wasn’t giving away anything. I say it again, wow it really smells good in here.

And then….I saw it. The small white bowl next to the sink, as if waiting to be washed. Hiding right there in plain sight...a freshly made bowl of fried zucchini, sautéed perfectly, glistening proudly in all its glory.  

She tried to get away with it, but the nose knows! I get it; it’s a bit of work for a rather small yield (but the reward is well worth it).

The difference between she and I is that I prefer my zucchini sandwiched between Italian bread. She can eat it plain. Sadly there was no Italian bread in sight, but I did find a stale roll that was on its way to becoming breadcrumbs. Desperate times, desperate measures I thought, and I happily ate my stale bread sandwich stuffed with freshly made zucchini while standing over the sink.

This Italian Zucchini Pasta recipe is inspired by my beloved fried zucchini. I’m thrilled to share this family favorite with you and hope you’ll try it…tossed in pasta, by itself, or as a sandwich. Either way, you won’t be disappointed!

What’s YOUR favorite childhood dish that you never make for yourself? 

Italian childhood favorite recipe for Italian Zucchini gets a makeover tossed with pasta!

This childhood favorite recipe is delicious tossed in pasta, by itself, or as a sandwich. via @2eatwellRD
Italian childhood favorite recipe for Italian Zucchini gets a makeover tossed with pasta!

Italian Zucchini Pasta

Yield

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • ½ pound pasta (any kind ,but ziti or penne would work well)
  • 6 zucchini squash, sliced into disks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 handful fresh chopped mint
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet to about 375 degree F.

  3. Line a plate with paper towels and place near the stove.

  4. Pat zucchini slices dry in between two paper towels.

  5. Place zucchini in batches into hot oil and gently saute until browned.

  6. Place cooked zucchini onto towel lined plate to drain. 

  7. When finished ftying, place cooked zucchini into a small serving dish and toss with the chopped mint, Balsamic vinegar, garlic, and salt, to taste.  

  8. Toss with cooked pasta and serve 

Click for nutritional information
Calories 509
Carbohydrates 54.8g
Fiber 5g
Sugar 9g
Fat 29g
Protein 10g
Sodium 45mg
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2eatwellRD

2eatwellRD
Danielle Omar is the author of the INSPIRED VEGETARIAN Feature on HealthyAperture and is a Registered Dietitian, clean-eating coach, cookbook author, and raw foodie wannabe. She is a passionate food and nutrition educator and founded her private nutrition practice to support busy men and women on their journey to becoming their healthiest self. An avid cook, she also enjoys sharing plant-based recipes and nutrition strategies on her Food Confidence blog. She is the author of Skinny Juices, 100 Juice Recipes for Detox and Weight loss. Danielle’s expert nutrition advice has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fitness, Shape, and Women’s Health magazine, as well as national television, including The Food Network and NBC Primetime.
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