This creamy zucchini pasta with mint and basil is fresh and light, but rather indulgent with a delicious cream sauce. A weeknight dinner that feels especially nice in the spring and summer months.
If you love pasta as much as my family does, then you perhaps you may like to try my roasted vegetable pasta salad for a summer dish, or my tahini broccoli pasta for an evening meal. Both easy to make and so tasty!
This zucchini pasta is quick and easy, with a decadent sauce that comes together fast. It combines just a few ingredients, and most are pantry staples. But don't skimp on the herbs - they are the 'big' flavour of this pasta dish and make it so fragrant and delicious!
⭐ Why you'll love this recipe
- Fresh herbs for summer - this recipe is all about mint and basil, which gives so much flavour.
- Tomato-free pasta sauce - for those who aren't keen on tomatoes, or can't tolerate, this doesn't contain any and uses cream and herbs instead.
- Easy to make - just a few steps to make the linguine, and all are simple to do.
Make sure to see the recipe card below for the full ingredients list and their quantities!
The main ingredients you will need are:
- Zucchini - use fresh, unbruised produce and in season for the best flavour.
- Linguine - you can use regular pasta, but linguine feels a bit lighter.
- Mint and basil - definitely use fresh herbs rather than dried for that light and fragrant flavour.
- Cream - the basis of the sauce, you want to use heavy cream (or double cream if you are in the UK).
📖 Swaps and variations
Swap linguine for other pasta. You could also use spaghetti or other types of pasta for the dish.
Swap apple cider vinegar for lemon juice. If it is suitable for you, then you can use lemon use.
Up the herbs and garlic! These are the main flavours of the dish, so increase quantities for an even more fragrant dish.
🔪 Step by step instructions
A very simple recipe, this creamy zucchini pasta comes together very quickly in just a few steps:
Cook your linguine according to packet instructions, until about a minute before it is al dente (image 1). Reserve a cup of the pasta water.
Drizzle olive oil into your skillet, and then fry onion and garlic on a low to medium heat for 4-5 minutes until softened (image 2).
Add the zucchini and cook for a few minutes until starting to soften. Then add the herbs, cream, apple cider vinegar, salt and black pepper to the skillet. Increase the heat so the sauce is very slightly bubbling (not boiling), and pour in some of the reserved pasta water a tablespoon at a time so you have a thinner sauce. Cook for 4-5 minutes (image 3).
Use tongs to transfer the linguine (or other pasta) to the skillet and toss through the sauce to combine. Cook for a further few minutes so the sauce reduces and the linguine is cooked through to al dente. If required, add a tablespoon of the pasta water at a time to the consistency you like for the sauce (image 4).
📋 Recipe tips and notes
- This is a light pasta sauce, with subtle flavours. If you prefer something a but punchier, add more garlic and herbs, or if it suitable for you, a grate of Parmesan cheese (or vegan alternative). The latter likely won't be suitable for my low histamine readers.
- Be sure to use heavy cream for the sauce. My UK readers will want to use double cream, definitely not single cream as this could easily split.
- Don't forget to reserve the pasta water as it is essential to making a creamy sauce. You may not need the full cup of pasta water.
📋 Frequently asked questions
I like to use linguine, but you could also use smaller pasta such as penne, fusilli or bow-tie pasta.
Yes, this is what helps to make the sauce creamy!
I haven't tried it for this particular dish, but I've used coconut milk as a swap in other dishes and it worked out great!
🍽 More pasta recipes
Creamy Zucchini Pasta
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions, taking off the heat a minute before it is al dente. Reserve a cup of the pasta water.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes until the onion has softened.
- Add the zucchini to the skillet and fry for a few minutes until it has started to soften. Then add the heavy cream, herbs, apple cider vinegar, salt and black pepper. Spoon in some of the reserved pasta water a tablespoon at a time until you have a creamy sauce. Increase the heat so it is very lightly bubbling (not boiling) and cook for 4-5 minutes, adding more pasta water as required.
- Use tongs to place the pasta in the skillet, and toss through the sauce so it is coated. Continue to cook for a few minutes, adding more pasta water if required.
- Garnish with fresh herbs and more black pepper to taste. Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Be sure to use heavy cream for the sauce. If you are in the UK, you want to use double cream rather than single cream. The latter is likely to split.
- Don't forget to reserve the pasta water! It helps thin the sauce, as well as make it creamy from the starch. You may not need a whole cup, but have that amount if you need it.
- Use more garlic and herbs for a punchier flavour if you like.
- Please note that nutritional information is offered as a courtesy. It is auto-generated and should be understood to be an estimate.
- wheat (in the pasta), which scores '1'.
- apple cider vinegar, which scores '1'.
- garlic, which scores '1'.
- black pepper, which scores 2.