This Pasta with Zucchini, Walnuts and Raisins is the perfect quick and easy weeknight dinner!
In the time it takes for the pasta to cook, you can make the quick and flavorful zucchini sauce.
With crisp tender zucchini, sweet raisins and crunchy walnuts, this is a meatless dinner on the table in under 30 minutes that everyone loves!
So, it is definitely zucchini season around here! Between our CSA and other zucchini that we picked up at the Farmer's Market, I had almost one produce drawer full of zucchini!
Then I remembered that I'm trying to go back and remake and update old blog posts. I have so many posts that don't have a recipe card or even photos.
I found this Pasta with Zucchini, Walnuts and Raisins from Real Simple that I originally made in August 2010. I loved it because school had started back and I needed quick, easy and delicious dinners.
This was everything I hoped it would be. Quick, easy, delicious. The best part is that it's even better the next day, so make enough for leftovers!
Pasta - use your favorite pasta shape. The original recipe called for spaghetti, but when I have chunks of vegetables, I like to have a chunkier pasta, I think it makes it easier to eat.
Raisins, walnuts, garlic - pine nuts or almonds would also be good.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - use an olive oil that you like the flavor. Since there really isn't a sauce, a lot of the flavor comes from the olive oil.
Zucchini - you can see that I had cute round zucchini from my CSA. I had plans to stuff them, but when I saw how easy this dinner was, it won!
Parmesan Cheese - fresh grated to serve.
Cook pasta according to directions, drain (reserving about a cup of the pasta water.). Timing wise - I cooked the pasta while I was making the sauce.
Wash the zucchini and cut it into bite sized pieces. Since I had a mix of round zucchini and regular shaped zucchini, my pieces are different shapes. With regular zucchini, I like to cut it into thin half moons.
Heat the oil over medium high heat in your favorite skillet. Add the walnuts and cook until they are starting to brown.
Note - I love this step of browning the walnuts in the oil first, you are basically making almost a nut oil that will give that nutty flavor all through the pasta!
Add the zucchini and raisins and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir to make sure they get coated with all the yummy nutty olive oil.
Cook until the zucchini is just tender, only about 4-5 minutes.
Add your pasta to the zucchini and stir to combine. You can add a little bit of the pasta water if you want it to be a little more moist.
Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
Serve sprinkled with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
This was everything I wanted in a quick and easy dinner! Perfect for meatless Mondays!
Such a simple and basic recipe. It's lovely exactly as written, but it would be so easy to add variations.
You could make it spicy by adding red pepper flakes or dicing a hot pepper.
Change the flavor profile with some fresh or dried herbs like rosemary or thyme.
Add some other vegetables like onions or tomatoes.
If you're not going meatless, add some cooked chicken or cook some diced boneless, skinless chicken in the oil before adding the walnuts.
More zucchini recipes:
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Pasta with Zucchini, Walnuts and Raisins
- 12 ounces dried pasta
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 2 1/2 pounds zucchini thinly sliced in half moons (about 6 cups)
- 3/4 cup raisins
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese freshly grated
- Cook the pasta according to directions. Drain and reserve a cup of the cooking water.
- While pasta is cooking heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the walnuts and cook for a couple of minutes or until they are starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
- Add the zucchini, raisins and salt and pepper to the skillet. Cook until the zucchini is just tender - about 4-5 minutes.
- Add the drained pasta to the zucchini and stir to combine. If you want it a little more moist, you can add some of the pasta water. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve with grated parmesan cheese and fresh ground black pepper.
This was originally published in 2010 and has been updated for 2020.