Vegan Zucchini Pasta
A unique and delicious zucchini pasta where caramelized zucchini and leeks create a rich, almost jammy sauce that melts into spiral pasta. The simple sauce is flavored with fresh oregano and juicy cherry tomatoes add sweet-tart flavor to each bite. Yum. The sauce is gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free and you can tailor it to various diets by using gf or low-carb pasta.
Prep Time15 minutes mins
Cook Time30 minutes mins
Total Time45 minutes mins
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian inspired
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter (you can skip this and add one more tablespoon of olive oil)
- 6 cloves garlic (minced or crushed)
- 1 large leek (green and white parts thinly sliced)
- 2 medium zucchini (1 pound, grated with the largest holes on the box grater. You can also use a food processor to do this)
- 2 tablespoons fresh oregano (chopped, plus more for garnish.)
- 8 oz cherry tomatoes (halved)
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound small pasta (like casarecce, rotini, farfalle or orzo)
Place oil and butter with crushed or minced garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the garlic until it is lightly golden and fragrant.
Add the thinly sliced leeks and saute for a couple of minutes, then add the zucchini. Add salt and ground black pepper and saute over medium heat. The zucchini and leeks will express all their juices. Stir in 2 tablespoons oregano.
Continue to saute the vegetables until the liquid has evaporated. If the veggies stick to the bottom of the pan add a tablespoon of water and scrape up any brown bits. Continue doing this until the vegetables are greatly reduced and caramelized, about 20-25 minutes. Stir in the cherry tomatoes but don't give them too long in the skillet because you don't want them to break down completely--you want their sweetness and slight tartness to come through in the final dish.
While the zucchini and leeks are cooking, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Stir the cooked pasta into the cooked zucchini-leek-tomato sauce with a cup of the pasta cooking liquid. Add more salt as needed and plenty of ground black pepper. Tear a few oregano leaves with your fingers and stir in.
Serve hot, warm or cold.
Storage, reheating and make-ahead:
- For a spicier pasta stir in some red pepper flakes along with the cherry tomatoes into the pasta sauce.
- Substitute the oregano with basil.
- You can use up to two pounds of zucchini in the sauce.
- Replace cherry tomatoes with chopped regular tomatoes. Tomatoes should be quite sweet. If you don't want to use tomatoes, stir in a tablespoon or two of lemon juice.
- Use any pasta based on your diet preference--gluten free, whole grain or low carb. You can even serve the sauce with zucchini noodles!
- Refrigerate: Leftovers of this vegan zucchini pasta can be stored in the fridge for up to three days.
- Freeze: Freeze pasta in an airtight container for up to four months.
- Reheat: Reheat the pasta in a skillet or in a microwave. If reheating in a skillet defrost the pasta first. To microwave, place frozen or defrosted pasta in a microwave safe container and microwave frozen pasta for 2-5 minutes, depending on quantity, stirring once or twice in between.
- Make ahead: You can make the pasta sauce ahead and refrigerate it for up to three days. The pasta sauce can also be frozen for up to four months.
Calories: 374kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Potassium: 482mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 591IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 2mg