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Pasta with Zucchini Sauce topped with chopped bacon on a white plate.
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5 from 1 vote

Pasta with Zucchini Sauce

This creamy pasta with zucchini sauce is a quick and easy meal that comes together in just 20 minutes!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tablespoons butter - salted or unsalted is fine
  • 1/2 small sweet onion - diced
  • 3 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1 lb zucchini - grated on a box grater
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth - or vegetable broth
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese - packed
  • 1 cup frozen peas - thawed, see notes
  • 10 oz bucatini - or other long pasta such as spaghetti, linguini, fettuccini
  • 1/4 cup bacon - cooked and crumbled for serving

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once boiling add 1 T of salt to the water. Add the pasta and cook 2 minutes under al dente. The pasta will be a tad firm in the middle. 
  • Before draining the pasta water, scoop out 1 cup worth of pasta water and reserve for later. We will use this to help loosen up the pasta sauce if necessary. 

Zucchini Sauce

  • In a skillet over medium heat melt the butter. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes or until the onion is translucent and has softened. Stir in the zucchini, salt, and pepper and cook for 4 minutes or until the zucchini has cooked down by about half it’s volume. 
  • Stir in the cream, broth, parmesan, and frozen peas. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 3 minutes. It will appear watery, which is fine because we need to finish cooking the pasta in that water. 
  • Add the pasta to the zucchini sauce and toss to coat. Cook for 2 minutes. If the pasta sauce gets too thick add a splash of the reserved pasta water to the skillet.
  • Remove from stove and serve immediately with additional parmesan and chopped bacon if desired. 

Notes

Zucchini: No need to peel the zucchini before grating it. 
Heavy cream: The heavy cream will create a thicker and creamier sauce because it has higher fat in it, however, if you want to go for a healthier alternative you can substitute half and half. The sauce won't be as creamy though. 
Broth: Can use chicken broth or vegetable broth. If you're really in a pinch you can use water, but you'll lose some flavoring. 
Peas: My kids love peas, so I used them in this recipe. You can use corn if you prefer, frozen corn that has been thawed or canned corn that has been drained.
Toppings: the bacon is optional but it adds delicious flavor and crunch to the dish! Can also add some chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, or basil. 

Nutrition

Calories: 475kcal (24%), Carbohydrates: 45g (15%), Protein: 15g (30%), Fat: 26g (40%), Saturated Fat: 15g (75%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 78mg (26%), Sodium: 957mg (40%), Potassium: 479mg (14%), Fiber: 4g (16%), Sugar: 6g (7%), Vitamin A: 1128IU (23%), Vitamin C: 27mg (33%), Calcium: 198mg (20%), Iron: 2mg (11%)