Here’s a great recipe for the mother-load of zucchini soon to hit many of our gardens this month. It really is a simple summery dish that comes together in minutes. All you need is a box grater or you can use the grater blade on your food processor to make the prep work go even faster. Serve with a simple summery salad or maybe grilled fish or chicken. And let me tell you, it’s even better the next day. We even liked it chilled.

Please note: my very amateurish photo does not depict the much needed cracked black pepper. I took the shot before adding the pepper and it’s a must have for this pasta.

Serves 4-5 portions


  • 4 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4-5 medium size zucchini, trimmed and grated with skin
  • 1 medium size organic leek, white parts only sliced very thin
  • 1 medium onion, grated (approximately 1 cup)
  • 6 fresh garlic cloves, grated (approximately 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 T Kosher salt, plus more if needed
  • 1 lb. bucatini pasta
  • 2 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • 3/4 C asiago cheese, finely grated (or Parmesan), plus more for serving
  • 1/3 C fresh organic mint leaves, torn
  • 1/2 C fresh organic basil leaves, chiffonade cut
  • 1/4 C fresh organic Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 C pasta water, plus more for cooking
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • Cracked black pepper

Fill a large stock pot with water and salt and bring to a boil. 

In a large clean kitchen towel (preferably not white because zucchini can stain), place grated zucchini. Twist towel and ring out as much water as you can from the zucchini. This will take a little muscle, but you want to get out as much liquid as possible. 

In a medium-large saute’ pan, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat. Add chili flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add grated zucchini, sliced leek, grated onion, and grated garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for approximately 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir often. Zucchini will begin sticking to pan. That’s fine, just keep stirring it. When zucchini has been cooking for about 10 minutes, add bucatini to the boiling water. Cook according to directions. You want the bucatini to be al dente. 

When the bucatini has reached an al dente cook, begin removing bucatini from the water with tongs and add to the saute pan with zucchini. Reduce heat to medium low. Once all the bucatini is in the saute pan with zucchini and onions, add 1/2 cup of pasta water and 1/2 cup heaving cream. Stir to combine liquids and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, add asiago cheese and another 1/2 cup of pasta water. Continue cooking for 3-4 more minutes. 

Remove zucchini bucatini from the heat and add lemon juice. Taste for seasoning, adding salt if so desired.  Add mint, basil and parsley. Toss to incorporate. Serve in individual pasta bowls or from a large platter.  Generously pepper bucatini with cracked black pepper and garnish with more herbs and cheese.