Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Penne with Zucchini, Fresh Herbs, and Lemon Zest

Scott Phillips

Servings: four. (serving size, 2-1/4 cups)

This go-to summer meal is simple, fresh, and full of flavor. It takes advantage of the bounty of zucchini and leaves it to the herbs to deliver the freshness of the season right to the plate—no cream or butter required.


  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 lb. whole wheat penne
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini (8 oz. each), cut in half lengthwise and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick half moons
  • 4 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 3 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 440
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 140
  • Fat (g): 15
  • Saturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 0
  • Sodium (mg): 450
  • Carbohydrates (g): 67
  • Fiber (g): 8
  • Protein (g): 15


  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the penne and cook according to package instructions until al dente.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until barely tender and just starting to brown, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is soft and fragrant, an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the lemon zest, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
  • Reserve 1/2 cup pasta cooking water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the zucchini mixture along with the Parmigiano, mint, basil, and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, adding some of the reserved water if necessary to moisten the pasta, and serve immediately.

Perfect alongside Marinated Tomatoes with Pickled Red Onions & Gorgonzola.


Rate or Review

Reviews (8 reviews)

  • PastryPat | 09/22/2013

    So simple and so delicious! And with the fresh herbs it smells absolutely amazing! I'll definitely make again in future, maybe with more zucchini and less pasta to make it a bit lighter. I used about half the oil, that was definitely enough.

  • VegetarianFoodie | 10/13/2012

    Loved this! Made it as a plain quick weeknight dinner to use up some zucchini and was not expecting much. It surprised me and I will definitely make it again.

Show More

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 44%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial