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Creamy Rotini with Zucchini, Tomato, and Red Pepper

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

The season’s most plentiful vegetables come together in this satisfying pasta dish. To make it even heartier, try adding diced grilled chicken.


  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 ripe Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1-3/4 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano finely grated with a rasp (1-3/4 cup); more for serving
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 Tbs. finely grated lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
  • 1 lb. rotini, or other short corkscrew pasta

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 670
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 350
  • Fat (g): 39
  • Saturated Fat (g): 21
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 13
  • Cholesterol (mg): 120
  • Sodium (mg): 790
  • Carbohydrates (g): 65
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 17


  • Bring an 8-quart pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.
  • Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, zucchini, bell pepper, garlic, 2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are barely tender, about 7 minutes. Pour in the heavy cream and simmer until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cheese, basil, and lemon zest.
  • Meanwhile, boil the pasta according to package directions until al dente.
  • Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Pour in the sauce and toss until the pasta is evenly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with additional cheese, and serve.

For dessert, indulge in Ice Cream with a Cherry Caramel Sauce.


Rate or Review

Reviews (10 reviews)

  • LArcher | 06/03/2015

    I make this every year when Zucchini makes it's appearance at the farmer's market. Fresh zucchini and basil and lemon zest make this pasta dish one of my family's favorite dishes.

  • User avater
    bakesalot | 07/29/2013

    Not bad, but not flavorful enough to make again. The pasta and veggies probably would be tastier on their own with only some garlic and red pepper flakes sauteed in some olive oil. The cream and lemon didn't add much.

  • whatscooking | 07/02/2013

    I put this together using some leftover grilled zucchini and red pepper. Also threw in some spinach. Liked it! Would make again.

  • whatscooking | 07/02/2013

    I put this together using some leftover grilled zucchini and red pepper. Also through in some spinach. Liked it! Would make again.

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