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+ servings

Zesty Spaghetti and Zucchini

Whole wheat spaghetti and thin strips of zucchini with garlic, olive oil, fresh lemon juice and a hint spice from red pepper flakes.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Dish
Servings: 4 -6


  • 3/4 lb whole wheat spaghetti
  • 3/4 lb zucchini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 3 T chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cook the pasta until al dente according to package directions.
  • While the pasta is cooking, cut the zucchini into very long, thin julienne strips. I recommend using a mandoline for this step if you have one..
  • During the last 30 seconds of the pasta cooking, add the zucchini strips to the cooking pasta. This will heat up the zucchini without over cooking the zucchini.
  • Before draining the pasta and zucchini, scoop out 1/2 cup of pasta water and set aside.
  • Drain the water from the pasta and zucchini.
  • In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and light brown. Carefully add the red pepper flakes and chopped basil. Carefully stir to combine and then remove from heat to avoid burning the ingredients.
  • In a large bowl, add the warm pasta and zucchini mixture. Stir in the garlic oil mixture, lemon juice and 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese. Toss to combine and add the reserved pasta water but just enough to make a smooth sauce. (You may not use all of the pasta water.) Add salt & pepper if needed.
  • Serve in individual bowls with additional grated parmesan cheese.


Recipe adapted from: Michael Chiarello