7 Great Zucchini Pastas Plus Zucchini and Chicken Sausage Penne Pasta Recipe

by heidi on August 7, 2012

Recipe for Zucchini and Smoked Chicken Sausage Penne Pasta with Basil

We all know the drill, the harvest mantra: “What am I going to do with all this zucchini?”

Well, here’s what you do with it. You cook with it, you bake with it, you think about tanning it for the newest trend in vegan alternative leather.

Hey, we may have something there.

I have to share this photo of what happened in my garden 3 years ago. It was stunning.

We had just moved into our latest house and it was my first time gardening in the plot the previous owner had prepared for his veggies. I’d heard from the neighbors that he was quite the gardener—resulting in us removing about 40 trees and countless shrubs. But the guy knew how to cae for his soil, and the spot he tilled for his veggies, was bar-none, top notch soil.

I was by no means prepared for the bounty of this harvest.


It hasn’t gone this bonkers since—I wish I had his recipe for the perfect soil fertilizer/preparation—but I still have some robust zucchini plants delivering delicious fruit.

Since Wednesday is National Zucchini Day (download my free Food Blogger Planning Calendar) it’s reason enough to enjoy the fruits of my labor and water bill.

Zucchini and Smoked Chicken Sausage Penne Pasta with Basil

This pasta is simple enough for weeknight but presentable enough for a crowd to impress. I use Aidell’s Caramelized Onion Smoked Chicken Sausage because they add an amazing flavor to the dish and a little sweetness thanks to the caramelized onions. I also appreciate that they’re all natural with no antibiotics, nitrates, msg or added hormones. I found them in a lovely 3 pack, ready for me to devour, at Costco.

This recipe also contains my secret ingredient to the best pasta ever and ends up in each and every one I make. Any ideas which ingredient is it?

Zucchini and Smoked Chicken Sausage Penne Pasta with Basil

Serving Size: serves 4-6

Zucchini and Smoked Chicken Sausage Penne Pasta with Basil

Summertime zucchini gets its due in this savory sausage pasta dish.


8 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
1 pound chicken sausage links, such as Aidell's Caramelized Onion Smoked Chicken Sausage, sliced
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 zucchini—yellow or green or combination—sliced to make about 3 cups
2 cups small roma or cherry tomatoes
½ cup Marsala Wine
2/3 cup cream
2/3 cup basil, torn or thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper


  1. Cook penne pasta to package directions until al dente, and still rather firm. Drain and set aside ½ cup pasta water after draining pasta.
  2. In a large pan bring heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add sausage, cooking for 7-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  3. Add Marsala wine and cream to pan and scrape bits up from bottom of pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Lower heat to medium, add zucchini and tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt and cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until tomatoes start to pop.
  4. Add pasta and basil to sauce and toss to coat and cook for another 2-3 minutes. If sauce becomes to thick or needs to be extended, add in ¼ cup pasta water or as needed.
  5. Serve with dollops of ricotta and parmesan cheese.


More zucchini means more need for pasta recipes. Check these great food blogging recipes you’ll soon have a green crush on.

Roost Blog‘s Zucchini Pasta with Heirloom Tomato and Lemon Basil trains simple strands of zucchini to become shining stars at the dinner table. Did I mention Caitlin likes pinenuts in there too?

Squash stands in for regular pasta when Maria takes zucchini for a fresh and easy spin with a nod to south o’ the border flavors, including her beloved avocado with Two Peas and Their Pod‘s Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Sweet Corn and Avocado 

Ezra Pound Cake‘ s Pasta with Zucchni, Tomatoes and Creamy Lemon-Yogurt Sauce combines whole wheat pasta and protein packed yogurt with lemon keep this pasta light enough for summer, even if it leaves Rebecca still craving popsicles.

Kate sub out pasta for another great grain is in Cookie and Kate‘s Mediterranean Pasta Salad with Raw Squash featuring Israeli couscous, feta, pine nuts and olives all dressed up with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing to die for.

Bev brings her sass to everyday zucchini with her totally unique jam of Bev Cook‘s Free-Form Vegetarian Lasagna, making layers of happy swiss chard and ‘mater sauce a little nutty thanks to a chopped walnuts topper.

Crispy zuchs are an all-time favorite of mine, but I’d never thought of them as a topper for pasta before discovering Melissa’s recipe for Pretty Yummy‘s recipe for Crispy Zucchini Pasta, in a creamy wine and dijon mustard sauce. Oh mama, bring it to me!

Obviously this photo drew me in, but thanks to the translator I got to read the recipe too! And so worth it for Prstohvat Soli‘s Pasta with Zucchini and Ham 

Related Posts
Embrace Your Inner Zucchini: 5 Recipes You’ll Love
5 Fresh and Simple Avocado Salads
10 Top Tomatillo Recipes and Roasted Tomatillo and Green Olive Salsa

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Posted in: entrees,noodles, rice and grains,recipes

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Bev @ Bev Cooks August 7, 2012 at 5:42 am

Hot DIGGITY that’s one huge zucchini you have up der. I’m feeling you on this. However, I’m looking at my very. last. zucchini. of. the. year. and I have to say I’m okay with it.

But of course now that I see all these pimp recipes (thanks for the inclusion) I changed my mind, of course.


heidi August 7, 2012 at 9:05 am

How sad for you, no zucchini left in the garden. I mean, CONGRATULATIONS! You cleared it out!


Kristen August 7, 2012 at 6:19 am

I am dying over all these great zucchini recipes (and is that your sweet daughter in that adorable picture??)


heidi August 7, 2012 at 9:04 am

Yep, that’s Smudge, at 5 years old, she’s 8 now :( but :)


Ali @ Gimme Some Oven August 7, 2012 at 6:39 am

These recipes all look amazing!!! Love the color in your pasta. And oh my goodness — the adorable picture with the HUGE zucchini! :)


Averie @ Averie Cooks August 7, 2012 at 7:29 am

Your little girl is just priceless in that pic – love it!


Barbara @ Barbara Bakes August 7, 2012 at 7:57 am

You always feature such great recipes!


heidi August 7, 2012 at 9:06 am

Oh, thanks Barb! So many out great recipes out there on the www, the hardest part is choosing from the lot!


Maria August 7, 2012 at 8:16 am

Jealous of your garden!! Thanks for featuring our zucchini recipe! You need to make my Chocolate Fudge Zucchini Cookies next! So yum!


heidi August 7, 2012 at 9:04 am

Or YOU can make them for ME!


Johnna August 7, 2012 at 8:49 am

I thought I was done with zucchini for the year, but now have several more recipes to try. I’m getting a spiral slicer and some pine nuts!


Susan August 7, 2012 at 8:54 am

Happy Zucchini Day! These recipes all look so yummy and easily makes zucchini one of my favorite veggies. I’ll have one to post tomorrow in it’s honour! XOXO


Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking August 7, 2012 at 8:59 am

Thanks for all these beautiful recipe ideas! I have an over abundance of zucchini so looks like pasta for dinner for the next few days!


Deborah August 7, 2012 at 9:25 am

There is nothing that I don’t love about this dish. I would love a big bowl right now!!


Wendy@chezchloe August 7, 2012 at 9:33 am

We are in prime zucchini time in the pacific northwest… I’m not yet sick of them. Great recipes and photos. Love the free form pasta and want the chocolate fudge zucchini cookie recipe!


amelia from z tasty life August 7, 2012 at 9:38 am

I LOVE zucchini, in all shape and form and never bore of them!
I also recently posted with a few – very Italian – ideas: http://www.ztastylife.com/2012/07/zucchini-and-fiori-di-zucca.html


Laura (Tutti Dolci) August 7, 2012 at 9:46 am

What a picture perfect summer pasta dish, love!


Kathryn August 7, 2012 at 9:50 am

When I was about 7, I went to a friend’s house after school and her mother tried to force feed me zucchini. When I wouldn’t eat them, she tried smothering them in ketchup which just made it even worse. It is such a vivid memory that I have been a little wary of zucchini ever since which is ridiculous because I’m far more mature now than I was when I was 7. Maybe. Anyway, that was a long way of saying that I must go and buy a zucchini and make all of these dishes now!


Michelle August 7, 2012 at 10:01 am

This post makes me SOOOOOO happy! Zucchini is my favorite veggie – so diverse! And you’ve given me so much new yumminess!!! And Smudge’s cheeks – such adorable baby fat :)


Melissa Vanni August 7, 2012 at 10:29 am

Your zucchini with sausage pasta looks so fresh and delicious! Thank you so much for including me! :)


Gin August 7, 2012 at 10:30 am

I need to get my hands on some of your zucchini and a sqush on that Smudge!


Cassie August 7, 2012 at 11:42 am

I have been eating a lot of pasta dishes loaded with fresh veggies and chicken sausage. I just can’t get enough of either. This looks great Heidi!


Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. August 7, 2012 at 11:44 am

oh love these! Hope you are well!


Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats August 7, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Getting ready to make a ‘garden lasagna’ later tonight – need to use up some zucchini!


kelley August 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm

And the secret ingredient is……..marsala wine??? The dish looks amazing. That picture of Smudge? Precious. Good, good, good.


Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles August 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Oh my gosh, that photo is precious. And that zucchini is something cRaZy!!! Love all these recipes.


Jen @ Savory Simple August 8, 2012 at 5:32 am

Those are some great looking recipes! Those zucchini pictures from your garden are crazy. This is my first year with a garden and I’m not having that kind of luck. I think I’ve grown 2 or 3 total.


Lori @ RecipeGirl August 8, 2012 at 8:02 am

You’re quite the genius in finding the best-looking recipes out there. I’d DIE if I were able to have a garden like yours. Creatures find whatever I plant and nibble away. Can’t figure it out. Where did you find that adorable little girl?!


Sam August 8, 2012 at 8:45 am

Making this dish for the upcoming weekend using home made jalapeno and cheddar venison sausage. Beautiful dish, thanks for the continued inspiration.


Kari August 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm

The chicken sausage/zucchini pasta dish turned out great – thanks!


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