Farfalle with Zucchini Sauce

September 1, 2011 (Last Updated: March 29, 2020)
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overhead view of a bowl of bow tie pasta in a light green zucchini sauce

Tomatoes are so last year. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good tomato-based pasta sauce, but this year I have been really discovering pasta sauces using other vegetables. I have made a lovely sauce with carrots for curry fettuccine.

Zucchini and I go way back. It just seemed wrong if I didn’t include it into the club. And let’s just say, zucchini is a great member. A very simple and vegetable heavy sauce utilizing pureed zucchini and onions is tossed with playful farfalle (bowties) for a really fresh and herbacious pasta dish.

a closeup of a bowl of farfalle pasta with light green zucchini sauce
a closeup of a bowl of farfalle pasta with light green zucchini sauce

Farfalle with Zucchini Sauce

If you have an abundance of zucchini in the summer, and are sick of baking zucchini bread, try this creative pasta sauce made with zucchini, onions, and fresh basil.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 to 6 servings
Calories 407 kcal


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 2 pounds zucchini chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup Parmigianno-Reggiano cheese


  • Heat the olive oil to a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes until softened but not completely translucent. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes more until the zucchini is tender but not overcooked.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta.
  • Add the zucchini and onion mixture to a blender or food processor and add the 1/2 cup pasta water, fresh basil, and cheese. Puree until smooth and adjust seasoning as needed. Mix most of the zucchini sauce with the farfalle until well-coated, adding more sauce as needed. You may have some leftover sauce, but it can come in handy if you need to reheat any of the pasta later (and re-moisten it with more sauce) or if you want to water it down with some broth for a serving of pureed zucchini soup.

Notes & Nutrition

Servings 6.0 * calories 407 * Total Fat 12 g * Saturated Fat 1 g * Monounsaturated Fat 3 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 5 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 0 mg * Sodium 200 mg * Potassium 458 mg * Total Carbohydrate 64 g * Dietary Fiber 5 g * Sugars 9 g * Protein 13 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*

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