Slow cooked zucchini sauce for pasta
Zucchini pasta sauce. Easy doesn’t begin to describe this slow cooked zucchini pasta sauce, inspired by the one made famous by Meghan Markle. Regardless of whether you are Team Meghan, Team Kate, or Team Couldn’t-Care-Less-Either-Way, this recipe is absolutely going to make you Team Zucchini.
The popular green summer squash that overwhelms most gardeners is truly the star in our zucchini pasta sauce. The original recipe uses very few ingredients and we’re sure that it is delicious, because the zucchini really is the base of this dish. We think we’ve taken something great, and made it even better however! We start with sautéing shallots and garlic, adding the heat of some chili flakes, using vegetable stock powder to keep the whole thing plant-based, and then refreshing the meal with grated lemon zest just before serving. That bright punch of fresh citrus flavour is absolutely perfect!
Despite this recipe being as simple as can be, you do need to plan. You will need to cook this sauce for a long time; four hours is not an exaggeration, although you may be able to get away with three hours. This long cooking, over low heat, will treat your zucchini so well. They will soften, they will release their water, they will dissolve and turn into a glorious mush. Certainly not the most elegant meal to look at, the buttery, smooth and luxurious taste and texture of your zucchini pasta sauce will have you think it’s the most beautiful thing in the world.
What kind of zucchini is used in zucchini pasta sauce?
We use green zucchini in this recipe, as does the original. although you could theoretically use yellow zucchini instead, or even a combination of the two. Regardless of the colour, because you will not be peeling your zucchini, be sure to wash it well, buy organic if you can (or better yet, grow it yourself!), and avoid any squash that is obviously bruised, or brown. Also, don’t use too large zucchini – those tend to have seeds.
How much water to add to the zucchini sauce?
We start with 2 cups of water when cooking our zucchini sauce for pasta, and typically have to add a little bit more to avoid burning our sauce. If you find that you have too much liquid left in the pot after 4 hours, cook your sauce a little longer with the lid off of the pot. Watch it carefully though – you don’t want your zucchini to stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.
Variations to our zucchini pasta sauce:
Our recipe is vegan (and therefore also perfect for periods of Orthodox Lent). If this is not a consideration or concern for you however, here are some changes and additions you can make to the recipe:
- Add 1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese to the zucchini mixture when it is almost ready. Stir well to combine and offer additional parmesan to be added after serving.
- Use a chicken bouillon cube or chicken stock powder instead of the vegetable based on we use.
- Add the juice of half a lemon to the zucchini sauce right before serving, along with the grated lemon zest.
- Stir in a can of drained chickpeas for some added protein and to make a heartier meal.
Looking for more zucchini recipes? Check these out:
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Zucchini pasta sauce
- large sauce pot
- 4-5 medium zucchini, chopped about 1,350 grams
- 3 shallots, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp vegetable stock powder
- ½ tsp chili flakes
- 2 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
- 250 grams dry pasta of your choice
- ½ tsp salt
- lemon zest for serving
- In a large pot heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the chopped shallots, garlic and chili flakes. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly until softened and slightly caramelized.3 shallots, finely diced, 2 garlic cloves, finely minced, ½ tsp chili flakes, 2 tbsp olive oil
- Add the chopped zucchini and stir well.4-5 medium zucchini, chopped
- In a small bowl dissolve the vegetable stock powder in the water and pour it into the pot with the zucchini.1 tbsp vegetable stock powder, 2 cups water
- Cook, covered, over low heat for 3 - 4 hours or until the zucchini has broken down and the water has mostly evaporated. During this time, if you need to add more water, do so ½ cup at a time.
- Cook your pasta according to the package instruction, adding salt to the cooking water. Drain and set aside until ready to mix into your sauce.250 grams dry pasta of your choice, ½ tsp salt
- Taste your zucchini sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, toss with the cooked pasta and add some grated lemon zest, to taste.salt and pepper to taste, lemon zest for serving