Spaghetti with Zucchini and Pecorino Cheese

This image courtesy of Michael Potts

This is one of my all-time favorite dishes: light, quick to prepare, and full of flavor. Until I discovered this dish and zucchini frittata, I was not a big fan of zucchini. But this dish makes zucchini shine. When zucchini arrive at the farmer’s market in great quantities in the summer, this is the perfect way to enjoy them. I first tasted this dish on a warm summer day in a garden in Puglia. Since then, I have tasted variants of it in other parts of the Italian south, but the Puglian recipe is somewhat lighter. The dish is perfect as a spring or summer lunch or as the opening course of a multicourse dinner. It is quick and easy to make and the flavor will impress. It pairs beautifully with a chilled Puglian rose.

4 servings



Total Timeunder 15 minutes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, main course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Mealdinner, lunch

Type of Dishdry pasta, pasta


  • 5 tablespoons (75 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup (236 mL) dry white wine
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 11 ounces (308 g) spaghetti
  • 1 cup (236 mL) grated pecorino cheese, for sprinkling


  1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini and onions and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Add the wine, increase the heat to high, and continue cooking for another 2 minutes, or until most of the wine has evaporated. Season with the salt and pepper.

  2. Bring to a boil 4 quarts (3.8 L) of water. Salt the water generously, add the spaghetti, and cook to al dente, following the package directions. Drain and toss with the vegetable sauce.

  3. Serve hot, sprinkled with the pecorino cheese.


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