Entree/ Pasta/ Side dish

Zucchini Pasta with Pine Nuts

Want a healthier pasta recipe?

Again, I find myself sitting around trying to dream up a new recipe. While in Austin last weekend for our grandson’s birthday I was 2 days into the South Beach diet. It’s easy for me to get started on any new diet because I tend to obsess over what to cook and make. If someone likes to cook, then any diet should be easy, it’s a challenge for me to take something boring and make it more delicious.

Seems like everyone is always looking for a healthier way to prepare recipes. This can probably be made even healthier than I made it, so feel free to change up any of the ingredients. My daughter makes julienned zucchini all the time in place of pasta. I just wanted to add a little whole wheat pasta for some texture.

For our Christmas dinner this year we made mashed potatoes mixed with sauteed kale and onions. So, I’m sitting over the weekend thinking how good those potatoes were and maybe I could try doing a cauliflower mash and add the kale and onions to that mixture instead of mashed potatoes. I’m doing that this week and will post the results if they are worth mentioning.

Back to the weekend and the dieting. Well, I blew the diet and it was worth it. My son made about 7-8 different kinds of homemade pizza and a beautiful Mickey Mouse Birthday cake. (Remember the train wreck cake from last year?) I was only two days into the diet so why not just wait until Tuesday to restart.

So, before I get back into “the diet” why not try a healthier pasta dish. The third week of this diet allows for some whole wheat pasta. Here’s what I decided to do. Since whole wheat pasta is suppose to be so good for you, I cooked a very small amount of pasta and then julienned 3 zucchini which I sauteed along with some garlic. A few toasted pine nuts were added along with some Parmesan cheese and some parsley out of my herb garden. I drizzled in a little browned butter but that could easily be changed to olive oil. (I used four tablespoons of butter; but two probably would have been plenty.)

The results were delicious. For a healthier version when I get around to it, I’m going to cook some spaghetti squash and then fold in the zucchini with that and omit the pasta altogether.

If you aren’t a zucchini fan, give this a try, I think you will like it. Don’t overcook your zucchini though, you want it a little al denté.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: For my grandmother who passed away two weeks ago — Mama’s Butter Cake . It’s the best butter cake. Now I have her cake pans which will probably make my cake even better.

Such simple ingredients.

I browned half a stick of butter but did not use it all.

Mince parsley.

Saute the garlic and julienned zucchini in the olive oil.

Cook the whole wheat pasta until al denté.

Zucchini Pasta with Pine Nuts


  • 1 " thickness of whole wheat linguini little bit bigger than your thumb
  • 3 zucchini zulienned
  • 2-3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 c. pinenuts toasted
  • 1/4 c. shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 Tbsp. butter browned
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley


  1. Julienne your zucchini and set aside. Put the butter in a small skillet and cook slowly until it has a nice golden color.
  2. Bring water to boil and salt. Add the pasta and cook until al denté. Drain and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet and sauté the garlic for 2-3 minutes without scorching it. Add in the zucchini and sautee for 4-5 minutes. Do not cook too long, you want it to maintain it's shape and not get mushy. When this is to your desired doneness, add in the parsley, whole wheat pasta, the browned butter and the Parmesan cheese. Mix all together and serve.
  4. You can garnish with some extra parsley and browned pine nuts.
  5. Enjoy! and feel free to change it up -- spaghetti squash/zucchini, maybe some roasted cauliflower and the julienned zucchini would be nice also.

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  • Reply
    January 26, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Sounds good. How did you julianne the zucchini?

    • Reply
      January 26, 2012 at 8:20 am

      Lynn, I used a small julienne tool I bought at either Sur la Table or Williams Sonoma. You simply drag it across the vegetable and it cuts it into strips. You could also use a mandolin if you have one.

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