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Spaghetti with Zucchini and Peas - A Light and Refreshing Alternative to Tomato Sauce and Meatballs

Updated on April 10, 2015
spaghetti with zucchini
spaghetti with zucchini

A few days ago, a friend of mine dropped by with a bag of zucchini, fresh-picked from his father's farm in the countryside. The variety of zucchini in the bag was amazing. In addition to the typical green variety you see in supermarkets around the world, there was one that stood out in particular.

This one was quite a large specimen and spherical in shape, resembling a pumpkin more than a zucchini. My mind immediately started thinking, trying to imagine all the different ways I could prepare this unusual zucchini. After coming up with a half dozen ideas, I decided that the weather was too hot to slave over the stove.

Instead, I decided to keep things fresh, simple and light and it would include pasta. I already had a vision of what my plate of spaghetti would look like and I was excited. Inspired by the beauty of the bright and beautiful yellow skin of that sperical-shaped zucchini, I knew I wanted to complement it with another in-season vegetable. And in this case, I decided to go with some fresh peas.

To keep it light and fresh, I also added some fresh lemon juice for acidity, as well as a sprinkling of fresh lemon zest oh the top. The pasta is simply seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil in order to bring out the flavors of the fresh vegetables.

Helpful Tips

  • Cook your pasta al dente. making sure it still has some bite to it.
  • Use good quality extra-virgin olive oil for best taste
  • Use more or less lemon juice depending on how tart you like the dish
  • Refrigerate for a beautiful cold pasta salad

Don't forget to check out my food and travel blog and YouTube Channel, where I release 3 new recipes every week.

  • Prep time: 5 min
  • Cook time: 15 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • Yields: 4


  • 400 grams pasta
  • 1 cup zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 cup peas ( fresh or frozen )
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Lemon zest from 2 lemons
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions or until al dente.
  2. Drain pasta and set aside.
  3. Add garlic into a pan and saute in olive oil for 1 minute.
  4. Add zucchini slices and peas and cook for 5 minutes or until vegetables are just cooked.
  5. Add lemon juice and cook for just a few seconds.
  6. Add drained pasta and toss quickly in pan to coat.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Plate the spaghetti and top with lemon zest.
  9. Serve with a liberal drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

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Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way
Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way

When I first encountered real Italian food on a trip through Italy, It was then that I finally learned to truly appreciate pasta. This book includes much information on how to select the right sauce for the particular pasta, including authentic recipes that will have you cooking just like the Italians do.


How do you like your pasta? Fresh and light? Garlicky or cheesy? Your comments are always appreciated. Thanks!

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    • DawnRae64 profile image

      Dawn 3 years ago from Maryland, USA

      I like pasta ALL ways and always. This way looks sooo delicious. I'll have to try this.

    • Greg2255 profile image

      Greg2255 3 years ago

      I love pasta anyhow, it doesn't matter. Congrats on LOTD. Absolutely beautiful lens as always.

    • LoriBeninger profile image

      LoriBeninger 3 years ago

      Your lenses are always so yummy - even the travel ones! Congratulations on your LotD.

    • bobnolley lm profile image

      bobnolley lm 3 years ago

      I will certainly try this! Congrats on a well-deserved LOTD!

    • Dressage Husband profile image

      Stephen J Parkin 3 years ago from Pine Grove, Nova Scotia, Canada

      This sounds delicious a really light and tasty pasta dish. Well done on LOTD!

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 3 years ago

      Looks delicious, I love using zucchini and peas in spaghetti.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      Just back to say Congratulations on Lens of the Day!!!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Fresh zucchini is one of my favorite parts of summer and I love that you used it in a light pasta dish. I love it that way. Your recipe sounds absolutely delightful! Congratulations on Lens of the Day honors today!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 3 years ago from Colorado

      I like my pasta simple: garlic, salt and pepper, some melted butter, and steamed broccoli (or other seasonal vegetable). Your dish looks perfect. Congrats on LotD!

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 3 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      Definitely bring on the garlic. LOL. Looking forward to trying this refreshing past idea. When I first saw the yellow in the photo I thought it was mangoes, might have to try that too. ;)

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Yes ... love pasta. I look forward to our Wednesday night's when we usually have something that includes pasta. My husband would like this with the zucchini. Another wonderful recipe we need to try.

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 3 years ago from Fresno CA

      Great idea. I love it.

    • esmonaco profile image

      Eugene Samuel Monaco 3 years ago from Lakewood New York

      I love my pasta with all of the above. Another fantastic recipe Thanks!!!

    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      G+! :)

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image

      ComfortsOfHome 3 years ago

      This looks wonderful - I really enjoy pasta with fresh vegetables, a nice light dish for summertime.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 3 years ago

      Oh this looks really yummy! I like my pasta cheesy. I love to eat pasta, hot or cold.

    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      Your dishes always look so very delightful. This could be served in the finest of restaurants it is so very eye appealing. Simple yet wonderfully elegant.

    • profile image

      Ibidii 3 years ago

      That sounds very refreshing on a very warm day. I love zucchini and back when I had a garden some came out round like that. Cross pollen of green squash and yellow squash and the pitty pan variety! Nom Nom great formula Shinichi!

    • CherylsArt profile image

      Cheryl Paton 3 years ago from West Virginia

      Sounds good. Anything fresh from the garden sounds good with it. : )

    • Jerzimom profile image

      Cheryl Fay Mikesell 3 years ago from Ladysmith, WI

      I love this recipe! I'll have to try it! I love Zucchini with spaghetti noodles. Look healthy! :)

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      All of the above! This looks so yummy. The orange looks like a peach not a zucchini--how cool to have a different variety added in. I bet it tastes wonderful, as do all of your creations.