Pasta ‘n Zukes

Written By Pam Brandon and Anne-Marie Denicole On March 2, 2011

papardelleSnap. Dinner in a bowl on the table in less than 30 minutes. Quicker than a drive through, this one-dish wonder sneaks in zucchini disguised as noodles. Paired with flat pappardelle pasta, it’s a satisfying tangle that cuts the carbs and ups the green goodness.

An old-fashioned vegetable peeler makes wide pasta-like ribbons – peel off several from one side, then turn the zucchini and peel off more. Continue to turn and peel away ribbons until you get to the seeds at the core of the zucchini (discard the core). You can also do this on a mandolin, adjusted to a very thin slice.

Pappardelle pasta is best, because the noodles are about the same size as the zucchini strips.  If you really want to up the healthfulness, skip the pasta, add another zucchini’s worth of “noodles” and feel extra smug about this easy vegetarian supper.

Pasta ‘n Zukes

Serves 2

6 ounces dried pappardelle pasta 
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 zucchini, peeled into thin strips with a vegetable peeled into thin ribbons
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
Coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh Parmesan, to taste

Cook spaghetti al dente; drain, toss with 2 tablespoon olive oil, set aside and keep warm.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, hot pepper flakes and lemon zest. Cook for 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and zucchini strips and cook for 1 minute. Stir in warm spaghetti, lemon juice and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with fresh Parmesan for grating.

Diva confession: Our favorite kitchen gadget is a sharp knife, but when we have lots of veggies to prep, we pull out the mandoline for perfect, fast slicing. (A mandolin is a musical instrument, add an “e” for the kitchen kind.) This countertop gadget comes in all sizes, prices and designs, but our stainless steel version, with various adjustable blades for thin to thick slicing, has stayed sharp for years. Look for one with safety features – and watch your fingers!


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