Zucchini Linguine

This zucchini linguine calls for pasta to be tossed with summer squash, capers, garlic, pepper flakes, mint, dill, parsley, and cheese for an easy vegetarian weeknight dinner.

I remember my dad serving spaghetti with steak in his restaurant, and it was always a real treat. I spent nine months working in Tuscany several years ago, and that totally sorted my pasta cravings out. This zucchini linguine recipe is exactly the kind of thing I like to throw together on a weeknight—quick, simple, vegetable-based, and something that uses up produce that I tend to have an abundance of. You can jazz it up with the addition of fresh prawns or serve as a side to a grilled fish dish.–Maria Elia

Zucchini Linguine

A white plate of zucchini linguine--with pasta, zucchini, garlic, capers, mint, dill, and cheese with a fork

This recipe is full of fresh flavors and takes no time to make, it’s bursting with fresh herbs, salty capers, rich butter, and cheese! 

Maria Elia

Prep 15 mins

Cook 15 mins

Total 30 mins

  • Slice the zucchini lengthwise as thinly as possible using a mandoline, a julienne peeler, or a sharp knife. Stack the slices and cut them into long strands.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until just al dente (usually a little less time than the package instructions indicate).
  • While the linguine is cooking, heat a glug of olive oil (as little as 1 teaspoon or as much as 1/4 cup) in a large skillet over medium heat, add the capers, and cook until crisp, 2 to 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the capers to a paper towel-lined plate, then pour another glug of oil in the pan, if needed, and cook the zucchini, garlic, and pepper flakes, if using, just until tender. (You may need to cook the zucchini in a couple of batches, depending on the size of your skillet.) Remove from the heat.
  • Drain the linguine in a colander, reserving a little of the pasta cooking water. Return the linguine to the pot, add the zucchini mixture, the capers, herbs, and pepper, and gently toss. Add the butter, 1/4 cup reserved cooking water, and half the cheese and mix well. Taste and, if desired, season with salt. (You may want to go easy with the salt as the dish gets ample from the capers and the cheese.) Sprinkle the zucchini linguine with the remaining cheese and serve immediately.

*What is kefalotyri?

A hard, salty, white cheese made from sheep or goat’s milk, kefalotyri is made in Greece or Cyprus. It’s most popularly used as the cheese in saganaki, the olive oil-fried cheese appetizer. It’s also used grated into pasta, salads, and meat dishes. As it’s a drier cheese, it doesn’t melt particularly well but can be used anywhere you’d want a hard Parmesan or Romano.

Variation: Zucchini Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon

Toss some peeled shrimp into the skillet when you’re crisping the capers and finish the pasta dish with a little freshly grated lemon zest along with the cheese or omit the cheese entirely if you prefer.

Variation: Quicker Zucchini Linguine

For an even quicker weeknight pasta dinner, cook the zucchini with the pasta rather than in the skillet. Just add the slices to the boiling water about 4 minutes before the linguine is due to be done.

Serving: 1portionCalories: 910kcal (46%)Carbohydrates: 59g (20%)Protein: 36g (72%)Fat: 61g (94%)Saturated Fat: 37g (231%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 2gCholesterol: 154mg (51%)Sodium: 1962mg (85%)Potassium: 840mg (24%)Fiber: 7g (29%)Sugar: 6g (7%)Vitamin A: 4638IU (93%)Vitamin C: 61mg (74%)Calcium: 883mg (88%)Iron: 6mg (33%)

Originally published June 22, 2018

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