Springtime Special - zucchini pasta recipe


This zucchini pasta dish is truly a springtime delight. Called ‘spaghetti con fiori di zucchini’ (spaghetti with zucchini flowers) in Italian, it features oily spaghetti coated in translucent spring onion slices and torn zucchini flowers.

zucchini pasta

These ingredients are really seasonal finds… so a trip to your local farmers’ market will probably be in order (what a great excuse!).

What’s interesting here is that unlike the typical Italian way of preparing the zucchini flowers - which is to stuff them, coat them in batter and deep-fry them (like the British do their fish or the Scottish their Mars bars) - there’s no deep frying here. The flowers are simply fried up alongside the onion slices, creating creates a molten, almost impossible-to-see kind of ‘sauce’ that's more a light flavoring than a seriously chunky sauce.

This ‘spaghetti primavera’ is a real lunchtime favorite of ours. I hope you enjoy it.

Serves 4


40 zucchini flowers (approx. 400g/14oz)

400g/14oz spaghetti (‘tricolore’ looks great!)

easy zucchini pasta recipe4 fresh spring onions

Extra virgin olive oil


Small glug of white wine

Optional: chili pepper (thinly sliced)

Optional: parmesan/pecorino cheese

STEP 1 - First we prepare the veggies:

- Remove the stalks from the flowers (trash these) and the small green spikey leaves.

make zucchini pasta- Open each flour and also remove the small central orange heart (see right).

- Tear the open flowers into rough chunks.

- Grab the onions, slice off the stalks and roots.

- Half the remaining bulbs longways and slice longways as thinly as possible.

STEP 2 - Throw the onion slices into a frying pan and add a glug of water (this makes onions more digestible).

- Fry on medium heat until the water evaporates then add 15 tablespoons of olive oil and cover.

- Fry until onion softens nicely (approx. 2-4 minutes.

zucchini pastaSTEP 3 - With onion soft, keep pan covered and remove from heat.

- Add 1 throw of salt and leave covered for 3 or 4 mins (steaming the onion), until onion becomes see-through.

STEP 4 - Pop pan back on heat, add zucchini flowers, optional chili and half a shot glass of wine. Stir well to coat everything in oil.

- Fry for 8-10 mins until beginning of zucchini stems go completely soft. Take off heat.

STEP 5 - Cook pasta in large pan of boiling salted water as per packet’s timings. Do not drain!

STEP 6 - When pasta is ready, don’t drain but spoon instead into frying pan and mix thoroughly.

To serve: garnish this springtime zucchini pasta with grated parmesan cheese or, even better, pecorino.

Enjoyed this zucchini pasta?

Then try…

• This Sicilian treat, which features molten zucchini

• This mixed-veg vegetable pasta salad

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