Zucchini-Tomato Sauce

by Elizabeth Skipper | July 22nd, 2015 | Chef Recipe, Recipes

tomato sauce (400x400)Here’s a sauce in which zucchini and tomatoes share the limelight. It’s a quickly-cooked sauce, so be sure the tomatoes are well drained or the zucchini will overcook while it’s reducing. I’ve adapted this slightly from Jack Bishop’s book Pasta e Verdura. Don’t omit the heavy cream, and don’t try to substitute light cream. The sauce needs the richness and body of the cream and cheese to create the right texture to cling properly to pasta.




Zucchini-Tomato Sauce


  1. 4 medium-ripe tomatoes, or 1 large can diced tomatoes
  2. 4 medium zucchini
  3. 2 TB olive oil
  4. 2 TB butter
  5. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  6. Salt & pepper
  7. ½ cup heavy cream
  8. 15 large fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
  9. ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  10. 1 lb. penne, ziti, or rigatoni
  1. Peel, core, and seed the tomatoes. Cut into ½” cubes; set aside.
  2. If using canned tomatoes, drain them thoroughly.
  3. Trim the ends of the zucchini and slice in half lengthwise; cut the halves into ¼” half moons.
  4. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet.
  5. Add the zucchini and sauté, stirring often, over medium high heat until golden.
  6. Add the garlic and cook a little longer.
  7. Add the tomatoes, a little salt and pepper; cook, stirring, until the tomatoes are heated through and exude some moisture.
  8. Reduce the heat to medium-low.
  9. Stir in the cream and cook, stirring often, until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens slightly.
  10. Stir in the basil.
  11. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  12. While preparing the sauce, cook and drain the pasta.
  13. Toss the hot pasta with the sauce and ¼ cup Parmesan cheese.
  14. Mix well and transfer portions to warm pasta bowls.
  15. Serve immediately with additional grated cheese passed separately.
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