This Pasta with Creamy Zucchini Sauce may well become your new favourite zucchini recipe. Quick, easy, economical and a great way to use zucchinis to make a luscious pasta dinner!
Real Pasta with Creamy Zucchini Sauce – NOT “Zoodles”!
If you landed here expecting one of those low carb zucchini pasta “zoodle” recipes, you’re going to be sorely disappointed because this is about as far as you can get from a health food trend.
It’s real spaghetti all the way, in all its carb loaded glory, and the zucchini pasta sauce is swimming in cream.
Low carb? Absolutely not. Low fat? Nope.
100% delicious? YES!
What you need for Creamy Zucchini Pasta Sauce
This recipe is a wonderful way to turn 4 zucchinis into dinner. Here’s what you need.
- Zucchinis – called courgettes in some parts of the world. 600g/1.2lb or so – bit more or less works fine;
- Pasta – this can actually be made with any pasta at all, short or long. But it does work particularly well with long pasta because the shredded zucchini “clings” to it. For the photos and video, I used bucatini, the spaghetti that’s hollow inside, just for something different. Loved the extra thick pasta strands, not so fond of the strange sensation of sucking on a straw when I’m slurping up the pasta – but I think that’s me being immature?
- Garlic and onion – essential flavour base for this simple pasta sauce;
- Parmesan – adds umami (savoury flavour) into this otherwise very simple pasta sauce. Best to use freshly grated if you can because it melts into the sauce better, but store bought grated works fine too. Don’t have parmesan? Use any cheese you have! Don’t have cheese? Add a sprinkle of chicken or vegetable stock powder;
- Cream – because this is a creamy sauce! Evaporated milk is an excellent substitute. Coconut milk would work but I think would taste odd over pasta (I could be wrong);
- Chicken or vegetable broth/stock – as above with parmesan, adds flavour into this sauce. Without it, it does lack a bit of flavour; and
- Corn isn’t essential, but it does add cheerful little pops of colour and bursts of sweetness into this pasta dish. I’ve just used canned here but fresh corn would go down a treat.
How to make Pasta with Creamy Zucchini Sauce
Grating the zucchini is ideal to make a lovely creamy sauce that clings to the pasta. When you grate it, you might feel somewhat alarmed (or perhaps virtuous) at the enormous mound of zucchini. But don’t fret! It shrinks a LOT when cooked.
Key Step – tossing pasta with sauce
The creamy zucchini sauce will seem somewhat thin because the water coming out of the zucchini dilutes the cream. But don’t be concerned – once the pasta is added, the recipe calls for you to (enthusiastically) toss the pasta in the sauce for around 2 minutes on the stove which reduces the sauce and makes it cling to the pasta rather than pooling in the skillet.
The photo on the left is just when the pasta is added – you see how the sauce is just pooled in the skillet – then on the right is after 2 minutes of tossing. See how there’s no sauce left in the skillet? It’s all on the pasta!
Who ever would’ve thought you could make something so amazing from just a few drab looking zucchinis??
Being that this is loaded with zucchinis, you can totally justify not adding a side salad to your meal. But something fresh and crunchy wouldn’t go astray – try one of these:
Watch how to make it
Pasta with Creamy Zucchini Sauce
- 50g / 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/2 onion , finely sliced (brown, white, yellow)
- 600g / 1.2 lb zucchini (courgette), grated using standard box grater
- 1/2 tsp EACH salt and pepper
- 1 cup thickened/heavy cream
- 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock/broth , low sodium
- 3/4 cup parmesan , finely grated using microplane (Note 1 for store bought)
- 1 cup corn (canned, drained, about 2/3 of a can, OR fresh)
- 300g/ 10oz spaghetti, fettucini or other long strand pasta (I used bucatini)
Finishing & serving
- Extra finishing options: Handful of fresh basil (stir in at end), sprinkle of bacon or pangrattato
Bring a large pot of water to the boil with 1 tablespoon of salt.
Cook pasta per packet directions MINUS 2 minutes (yes, 2 whole minutes!) – pasta should be a bit too firm in the middle.
Scoop out a big mug of pasta cook water, set aside (for sauce loosening, just in case), then drain.
Creamy zucchini sauce:
Melt butter in a large skillet or pot over medium high heat.
Garlic and onion: Add garlic and onion, cook for 1 1/2 minutes until onion is slightly golden.
Cook Zucchini: Add zucchini, cook for 1 minute. Then add salt and pepper, then stir for 2 minutes until it reduces in volume by about 1/2.
Add liquids: Stir in cream, chicken stock, parmesan and corn. Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 3 minutes. It will still seem watery because water comes out of the zucchini – don’t worry, it cooks down in the next step.
Toss! Add pasta, then use two wooden spoons to toss well for 2 minutes, or until sauce reduces and is coating the pasta instead of pooling in the skillet. If it gets too thick, add a splash of reserved pasta cooking water. Pasta will finish cooking in this step.
Serve: Remove from stove, serve immediately, garnished with extra parmesan.
If using store bought parmesan, add it in with the pasta, don’t try to melt it in the sauce because it won’t melt through the sauce, you’ll end up with chunks of melted cheese in the sauce.
2. Nutrition per serving.
Life of Dozer
Yesterday. Poor Geoff – he just wants to enjoy his Chili Mac and Cheese in peace, without Dozer staring at him with rivers of drool down his chest!!
(For those who are new here, Geoff is the local who lives at the Bayview dog beach. He looks after the park like its his own backyard. We are very lucky to have him as part of our community!)