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
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
  • ⅔ cup cream
  • ⅔ 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.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: serves 4-6


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 

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Embrace Your Inner Zucchini: 5 Recipes You’ll Love
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