Pasta with Zucchini and Italian Sausage

Photo by Nicole D'Alessandro

Okay, so I’m lying to you a little bit. In this recipe, I used chicken sausage. But! It has all the same flavors without being as heavy and greasy as pork sausage, and you know what that means: you get to eat more of it. Not like ten times more; don’t go crazy. You can’t eat ten times more of anything. Except maybe fiber, if you’re not getting any. Fiber=good. But that’s a story for another post.


You need:

  • One pan
  • One pot
  • Olive oil
  • Your favorite pasta. I am using angel hair in this recipe, because I am impatient and hungry and angel hair cooks in like two minutes. And I like how, because it is so thin, it fully absorbs the flavors of the other elements in the dish. Believe it or not, coming from an Italian father, I don’t really like pasta that much. Blasphemy, I know.
  • 1 zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 Italian-flavored sausage (hot or sweet, chicken or pork. If you’re really hungry, you can eat 2 chicken sausages)
  • Parmesan Cheese (I’m not going lie to you, again. I used Kraft Parmesan. But if your integrity/wallet is greater than mine, use the real stuff)
  • Salt and Pepper

Optional: I added some frozen cooked bell peppers, and a chopped shallot. You can add any extra veggies you want: spinach, onion, broccoli; all would be good. What I usually do is add tomato sauce (amount to your liking) but last night I was feeling the olive oil-Parmesan cheese by itself.


  • Put the water on to boil (I know, this recipe is getting into the advanced cookery now.)
  • Dice the veggies and sausage to bite size pieces.
    • Sauté the diced sausage on medium heat until cooked. Drain the fat from the pan and put the sausage on a plate lined with paper towel.
    • For some brands, it’s already cooked! You can put some olive oil in the pan on medium, and put the zucchini and sausage in the pan.
  • Throw some salt into the water, and then the pasta. Watch the time! (Confession: I always look at the box to see how long it cooks, and then set the timer. I know! I’m half-Italian and I still don’t trust myself to cook pasta properly. Sigh.)
  • By the time the pasta is cooked, the zucchini and sausage should be getting browned a bit. Throw the pasta in the pan with the zucchini and sausage and turn off the heat. Add the tomato sauce here, or you can add just another splash of olive oil and a good helping of Parmesan and black pepper, as I did. You’re done!

Dishes Dirtied:

  • One pot
  • One pan
  • Plate
  • Cutting Board

Verdict: Quick. Easy. Filling. Tasty. Fairly healthy, and you are getting in a veggie which is pretty good for you. Maybe more than one, depending on what you added to it. Eat this, and you will happy. Or at least full.

About Nicole D'Alessandro

Nicole D'Alessandro (CAS '10) is an IR major and loves cooking, eating, reading, and writing about food. This semester she's even taking a class about it. That's how much she loves food.

View all posts by Nicole D'Alessandro →

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