I bought Marcella Hazan’s Marcella Cucina cook book over twenty years ago. The book has been a very useful reference for me to learn how to cook authentic Italian as the techniques and recipes are easy to follow. This is an adaptation from her book and takes about half an hour to prepare (quicker than you can get takeaways). I might add very tasty too!

Penne Pasta with Zucchini Sauce

7 or 8 medium zucchinis

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3-4 cloves of garlic peeled and finely chopped

½ to 1 teaspoon chilli flakes

2 tablespoons Italian parsley chopped

1 x 400 grams tin of plum Italian tomatoes

500 grams box of good quality Penne Pasta or other hollow tube pasta

Salt to taste

Parmesan shavings for garnish


Wash zucchinis well and cut them into batons (lengthways) about 5 centimetres long and about 1 centimetre wide. In a large fry pan put two tablespoons of oil and the finely chopped garlic turning heat to medium. Fry from time to time and when garlic turns pale brown and the smell is evident, throw in the parsley and the zucchini pieces along with salt and the chilli flakes. Turn over once or twice before covering with lid. Cook for about 5 -7 minutes. Add the tomatoes and squash them up in your hand while adding. Mix to combine and keep it on a steady simmer for a further ten minutes.

Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the box, drain and toss the sauce immediately. Stir in the remaining olive oil. Mix to combine. Serve promptly with shavings of Parmesan cheese. Serves 4

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