Einkorn Pasta with Zucchini & Herb Sauce

Pasta with Zucchini & Herb Sauce

So guess what, guys. For the first time ever, I’m remaking a recipe that’s already appeared on this blog. The SECOND recipe, in fact. That feels like some sort of milestone. It isn’t really quantifiable like a one year anniversary or a 100th post, but it still seems rather special. In the sense that I feel I’ve grown enough as a photographer and a writer to re-pay homage to a dish, because I believe I can do it more justice now. Or something like that. Anyway. Let’s talk about sauce. Made from zucchini!

Pasta with Zucchini & Herb Sauce

If you clicked on that link above, you’ve discovered that this isn’t exactly the same recipe. The first time around, there was ricotta + lemon ravioli. So let’s just be clear, this post isn’t necessarily about a dish of pasta and sauce together. It is about both things as separate, awesome entities. I have eaten this sauce on bread. I’ve eaten with a spoon. Quite frankly, it doesn’t need all the fuss that comes with making ravioli. Sure, you can go the extra mile and it will be fantastic. But you can also throw it on top of a bowl of honest-to-goodness spaghetti. Or eat it right off your fingers. No matter what the vehicle of consumption, this sauce brings it. 100%.

Pasta with Zucchini & Herb Sauce

Pasta with Zucchini & Herb Sauce

I discovered this recipe many years ago, back in my early days of food blog reading. Some of you long-time readers may remember that I’ve mentioned dating an Italian guy ages ago, and that I became enamored with his extended family (perhaps more so than I was actually enamored with him) and their food-centric way of life: Sunday dinners. Holidays filled with insane amounts of food. That one time a nonna brought over an amazing spread of desserts for one of the younger brother’s birthdays, and I had to restrain myself from shoving a herd of children out of the way so I could get my hands on ALL the mini sfogliatelle. The Italian and I eventually parted ways, and I went through some serious food withdrawal. In an attempt to combat it, I began looking into Calabrian recipes (as Calabria was the region of Italy his family hailed from and visited every year). And that was how I found Rosetta’s blog. I read through every post like a crazy person. In my obsessive browsing, I happened upon her recipe for pasta con crema di zucchine.

zucchini & herbs

stems & skins

I’ve always enjoyed the flavor of things like eggplant and zucchini, but the texture isn’t exactly my favorite. Turning the latter into a sauce totally solves that problem. This has become one of my favorite things to make when fall hits, as it’s a great way to use up larger zucchini, and it freezes very well. And most importantly, it’s absolutely delicious. It’s just herbs, vegetables, a bullion cube, and a wee bit of parmesan, and yet it somehow manages to taste decadent.

Pasta with Zucchini & Herb Sauce

Now, about the pasta. I’ve been saving this particular box of einkorn spaghetti for something special and blog-worthy. You may have already heard of einkorn wheat as it has become quite popular recently, and for good reason. It’s an ancient form of non-hybridized wheat that’s rich in vitamins, minerals, and lots of other good stuff that makes it quite nutritious in comparison to other wheats, and sometimes easier to tolerate for those who struggle with eating gluten. I first read about einkorn wheat on Alanna’s blog, was super intrigued, and the folks at Jovial Foods were kind enough to to send me a sample package of pastas and wheat berries (which we will talk about another time). The taste of the pasta is really fantastic. It has that nice, nutty wholesome flavor of wheat flour without the dense heaviness that usually comes with it. (If you’d like to read more about einkorn, I highly recommend checking out the Jovial website and this super informative post of Shanna’s.)



Zucchini & Herb Sauce

(recipe from Cooking with Rosetta)

makes: around 2 cups of sauce (I think — since I always make large batches of this, my calculations may be a little skewed)

Note: I usually like my sauce to be smoother than what is pictured here. There were some still-tough bits from a slightly under-ripe portion of one of the zucchini I used, and I didn’t realize it until I’d already thrown everything in the food processor.

1 lb of zucchini, halved or quartered (depending on size) and cut into 1/4″ slices

1 small onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 cup of basil

1/2 cup of parsley

1 bullion cube (chicken or vegetable)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of parmesan

salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a large heavy bottom sauce pan. Add garlic and onion and sautée until translucent. Add the zuchinni and herbs, then crumble the bullion cube over everything.

Reduce heat to low and cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, for approximately 20 minutes, or until zucchini are very soft and smush at the touch of a spoon.

Transfer contents of pan to your food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender) and purée until smooth. (There should be enough liquid for this to blend easily. If it does not, add a little water as needed.) Add parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

As I mentioned, this sauce freezes quite well. I let it cool, then transfer it to 1 quart ziploc bags and lay them flat to freeze.

Pasta with Zucchini & Herb Sauce

Pasta with Zucchini & Herb Sauce


  1. says

    My turn as the super-behind commenter now! haha it’s evened out between us I guess


    ah man, yes. YES.

    I DID make some when we had a glut of zucchini, and dayummm it be fine. There’s just some random hidden creaminess in them that is amazing (which I also experienced this one time when I overcooked my zucchini ‘spaghetti’ stuff and it went kind of mushy, so I turned it into a bruschetta topping. It was so good.)

    I love the colour of that einkorn spaghetti! I’ve seen the flour around in (where else) Whole Foods, but was always hesitant to buy it. Now I’m wondering if it could be used for fresh pasta…*heavy breathing*…

    • says

      Hehe! I don’t know what it is about the past couple months, but I feel like I’ve barely been able to just sit down and pay attention to my computer the way I used to. At least it’s not just me!

      It’s crazy how well this stuff turns into sauce. I guess it’s a squash thing. I wonder if eggplant sauce could be good? Probably. With lotsa garlic. Mmmhmm.

      I bet the flour would make fantastic fresh pasta! I want to try it with some of the whole wheat berries I have. (It’s crazy, because the berries are so much smaller and flatter than other kinds of wheat, but they are a B and a half to grind. It surprised me!)

  2. says

    What a wonderful introduction to your blog!! I saw your post via Lemons and Anchovies. I cannot believe I have never heard of Einkorn pasta … it sounds right up my alley. Plus, I’m always looking for good recipes to freeze (even better that it is veggie based!).

    • says

      Yay! So glad you found your way here. And I totally had a “where have you been all my life?” moment the first time I tried the einkorn pasta. So good! Especially with this sauce. :)

    • says

      Thank you, Nicola! (I’ve been spending a couple weeks at my parents’ house, which has beautiful light in the kitchen. The sun has been uncooperative for most of my time here, but it finally went behind some clouds for a little while on Sunday!) :)

  3. says

    This definitely seems like a recipe that is worth revisiting…favorite recipes deserve such. I loved looking back on your old posts and seeing how different your style has become. Your blog seemed just as lovely before but now I am completely mesmerized by your photography. That pasta is intriguing…definitely keeping an eye out for it. Great to have another recipe to try that will use up the last of the remaining behemoth zucchini from the garden.

    • says

      Thank you, Sandra! As I was looking back at this recipe I started going through other old posts, and it got me in the mood to remake SO many things. :)

  4. says

    Yes! I’ve got a pack of ravioli in the fridge that is just crying out to be covered in something like this. The ravioli doesn’t know it yet but it’s wish is about to come true. I might have to throw a bit of chilli in to satisfy our Indian palates but its such a nice change from my standard tomato-based sauce. Stunning pics too. Thank you!

    • says

      Yesssss! The ravioli will be so happy. :) And a bit of spice in this sauce is totally welcome! (I actually blended this sauce up in the same food processor I’d used to pulse a bunch of chiles the day before, and I apparently hadn’t gotten it quite clean enough to remove all the chile oil because it imparted quite a bit of heat into the sauce. It was delicious!)

  5. says

    I love revisiting old recipes! One of the sad things about always trying to up your game in the kitchen is forgetting about long lost meals that you really loved. Let’s reminisce! I’m on a big eggplant kick right now. I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago (probably the only time I’ve actually cooked this month…gross), and while it was delicious, I wanted something less chunky. I wonder if you could make an eggplant sauce much like this one. Your instagram photo of this recipe got me on a zucchini kick, too. I think I only ate zucchini once this summer, and that was in calabasitas. No zucchini bread, no stuffed zucchini (one of my favorite comfort foods–I made it for the first time in Home Ec in 9th grade!) , just calabasitas. Lame! So there’s a zucchini in my fridge that I plan on roasting up and devouring. Also, perhaps a smoother eggplant sauce is in my future. If my tomatoes keep ripening like they have been, I’ve got like 3 more weeks of late summer vegetables. I’ll just go all out!

    • says

      Oh man, eggplant + tomatoes. That is the key. It makes so much sense. I cannot wait to make a sauce out of this. Eggplant is the squash that I have the most problems with. I love the flavor, but I get grossed out by it if I get too much of its texture.

      My tomato plants were pretty baller this year too! I’m hoping I get one more big harvest out of them. I realized that I need to stop making sauce out of them and instead just make soup, because I make sauce and then sneak “tastes” of it like it’s a big bowl of soup. It’s gross. :D

  6. says

    Carey I’m in love with this idea. I have same issue of texture with zucchini and this totally is going to be made. Love the long shadows and light xo

  7. says

    Ahhhh you’re so creative with veggies! This sauce sounds wonderful, and really makes me regret not growing any zucchinis this summer. But there’s always next year, and also the super market :) I really love these photos, too (as usual!). The one of the herb stems and onion skins kiiiiiind of blew my socks off.

    And I am intrigued by those noodles! I’ll have to check out my Whole Foods and see if they have some to try :)

    • says

      Those squash plants take up so much space! I can’t wait until I have a giant garden where I can grow ALL the squash. My mom grew butternut squash a couple years ago, and the plant literally started growing out of the garden and trailing across the lawn and driveway. It was glorious. Her zucchini plant wasn’t quite so out of control this year, but I did find the 4lb zucchini that I used to make this, along with another enormous zuke that weighs I don’t even know how much — probably like 15lbs. Ridiculous.

      And the einkorn pasta is so tasty! I’m really hoping they sell it at Healthy Living, because it’s pretty much the only pasta I want to buy now. :)

  8. says

    Bluh I haven’t been able to get Einkorn anything in Ontario and it’s killllliiiiing me! Time for an Amazon order and a shifty US postal address pickup situation. I always try to convince my peeps that zucchini isn’t boring at all and holy jeez. Your sauce is next on the to do list with the jillion zucchinis. Also! Your anecdotes of the Italian and his fam reminded me of this fantastic piece that Gabrielle Hamilton wrote for Bon Appétit. Have you read it? It’s dope: http://www.bonappetit.com/people/chefs/article/blood-bones-baked-eggplant

    • says

      Yes! Definitely worth the shady US post office pick-up. :)

      That story is awesome. (I had not read it before.) I can only imagine how much more difficult it would have been for me to let go of all that Italian family charm if I’d been around it for 10 years (and actually had the chance to go to Italy, rather than just enjoying whatever meats and cheeses the family smuggled back in their suitcases). Truth be told, I have a bit of guilt for not reaching out to his family after we broke up, since they’d been so welcoming for years. I think they probably understood the break-up, because even they’d admit that their son was kind of douchetastic. Shoulda coulda, but hey, they definitely live on in my love of food!

  9. says

    I love the idea of a veggie sauce and it looks super simple to make! I bet it would be great on grilled fish or chicken too. Can’t wait to make it!

  10. says

    Okay, first of all, what rock have I been hiding under to not know about einkorn pasta? I have to give that a try. And also, this sauce sounds amazing… sadly I don’t have any zucchini hanging out anymore, or else this would be hitting my table tonight. Like, right now. I imagine it would hit the same spot as pesto, only a little lighter and easier to handle in large doses. Which is exactly how I would eat it. :)

  11. says

    Yay!!! I love the einkorn pasta! I’ve been craving pasta like nobody’s business lately with the fall-y weather, but not quite wanting to let go of the summer produce. Carey to the rescue! I would like to tuck into a bowl of that right now. Jovial should totally pay you for those photos – the light is exquisite.

    • says

      Awww, thanks, Alanna! (And thanks for introducing me to the pasta and putting me in touch with the Jovial peeps — so happy to have this stuff in my life!) I wish that light was mine all the time. (Taken in my parents’ kitchen.) I’ve toyed with the idea of just spending a week down there every month so I can shoot a series of posts at once. That would be crazy. :)

  12. says

    the first big word i could ever spell was zucchini, so it has always had a special place in my heart. BUT i think i’ve only actually eaten it like… twice??? this pasta looks fabulous though. i need to up my zucchini intake.

    • says

      Hehe! I am impressed, especially because I still struggle with spelling zucchini. (I always question if I have the right number of “c”s and “n”s, ya know?) ;) If it weren’t for this sauce, my zucchini intake would probably decrease to a sad level. It’s my favorite way to consume the stuff!

    • says

      Thanks, Katie! :D I wish I could work with this lighting ALL the time. (These were taken in my parents’ kitchen. The more photos I take there, the more annoying it is to return to the cramped space in my apartment!)

  13. Alyssa says

    I love seeing your pictures then and now…any advice for an aspiring photographer? I want my photos as pretty as yours now!


    • says

      Thanks, Alyssa! I’ve spent a lot of time reading tutorials (both on using a DSLR and on post-processing in Lightroom and Photoshop). This post has some really helpful explanations and visuals for understanding the basics, and Peter (pretty much my #1 idol when it comes to food photography) did a great post on shooting moody images. But overall, nothing beats actual hands on practice! And finding a good corner of your home with perfect natural light. :)

  14. Mariah says

    Loved this sauce…just made it last night and it was great! It reheated well today for lunch too. We used capellini pasta. Thanks!!

  15. says

    It’s been a while since I visited your lovely site. Dang, girl. Those images are so moodily stunning. And your writing. And this! Zucchini sauce – it’s genius. Another on the short list of recipes to use with excess zucchini.


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