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Meatless Monday: Zucchini Ribbon Pasta

Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of lifeEating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

It’s that time of year when zucchini is everywhere, whether you’re growing it, getting a pile from the CSA or accidentally purchasing a crateful from the farmers’ market (we get it — they looked that good). But now you’re left wondering, what am I supposed to do with this stuff? The answer: Make this zucchini ribbon fettuccine. Ellie Krieger laces green and yellow squash ribbons throughout  whole wheat pasta before topping the whole dish with grated Parmesan and fresh herbs. Red pepper lends just enough kick to keep things interesting — and ensures that you’ll be making this bright dish again soon. Give your tomato sauce a break and enjoy the season’s bounty (or rather, find a reason to feel less guilty about all that green).

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta

3/4 pound whole-wheat fettuccine
2 medium green zucchini (about 1 pound)
2 medium yellow zucchini (about 1 pound)
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup grated (1-ounce) Parmesan (lightly packed), plus 2 tablespoons
1/3 cup finely minced parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1 cup thinly sliced basil leaves, plus more for garnish
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


In a large pasta pot, cook pasta “al dente”, 1 or 2 minutes less than the package instructions call for. Drain.

Meanwhile, slice off ends of zucchini and discard. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise. Using a mandoline, or carefully with a sharp knife, slice zucchini into very thin (about 1/8-inch) slices, trying to keep some skin on each piece for color. Stack slices and cut in half lengthwise. Reserve zucchini ribbons in a large bowl.

In the pasta pot, heat the olive oil over low-medium heat. Add garlic and cook until soft and translucent but not browned, about 1 minute. Add zucchini ribbons and 1/4 cup chicken broth, raise heat to medium-high and cook until zucchini is still somewhat firm but just cooked, about 3 minutes. Return pasta to pot and add remaining chicken stock; cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until liquid has mostly absorbed into the pasta. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, parsley, basil, red pepper flakes, black pepper and toss to combine. Season with salt, to taste. Serve garnished with additional parsley, basil and the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese.


Comments (6)

  1. Evelyn Garcia posted 07/21/2014

    does it have to be whole wheat pasta?

  2. Jan St John posted 07/21/2014

    Why don't you make it easy to print this recipe off?

  3. Food Lover posted 07/22/2014

    Uh, chicken broth is not vegetarian. You probably should proof-read these before posting on a Meatless Monday blog. :)

    • Omar posted 07/22/2014

      Nobody is that stringent about Meatless Monday. If you are vegetarian or have some sort of vegetarian Monday.. that is a whole different event.

  4. Michelle posted 07/22/2014

    There are actually many vegetarians who still use meat based broths. Those who are that strict are called Vegans. I've been a vegetarian for many years and will use all broths available to me. Vegetable, Mushroom, Beef, Chicken…yep..all of them. I am very careful about them and they are usually made for me by my brother, who is omnivorous. I'm a vegetarian because I have an allergy to the flesh. But the broths do not give me a reaction so they are safe to use. Regardless, some vegetarians just like the flavor that broths offer. I find it humorous that there are those who think that just because they are vegan or what's called a "strict vegetarian" that everyone else has to be too. Well..they don't. And a strict vegetarian isn't a vegan and vice versa. There are about 7 different types of vegetarian from a "strict vegetarian" to "flexitarian" and sadly we all have to deal with the judgement and zealot attitudes of those who think they are better than everyone else because they are "strict" or "vegan". Sad really. You learn so much more when you open up and learn accept other's ways. It's very easy to tweak a recipe, for instance subbing vegetable broth for meat broth, without getting high and nightly about it. This recipe is just fine the way it is AND it's easily transformed into both vegan or full meat!

  5. Char posted 07/23/2014

    Way to go Michelle… It's really bad when some people have to be so rude and always right! They need to lighten up and could probably enjoy like a little better if they did!!!

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