Penne with zucchini sauce is a classic Italian dish that’s perfect for dinner or as a side. It’s also a dish you might see on the menu at an Italian restaurant and assume is super fattening because, well, it’s all about pasta and creamy sauces, right? Not exactly. Not only is this zucchini sauce recipe healthy and nutritious, but it’s also so easy to make at home. The best part is that this whole-food based version of penne with zucchini sauce requires just 30 minutes from start to finish. That means you can make it on busy weeknights or even as an after-school snack for your kids!
Pasta is a great source of B vitamins and minerals, including manganese and magnesium, which is essential for your nervous system. It’s also an excellent source of dietary fibre, which is important for your digestive system and can help reduce your risk of heart disease. Cereals and grains like pasta are also a good source of protein, which is essential for growth and repair. In particular, the protein in pasta is a “complete protein”, which means it contains all the amino acids your body needs. This can be helpful for athletes and people who are strength training, as well as children and seniors, who may need extra protein to build and repair tissues like muscles.
Zucchini is a super food for many reasons, but mainly because it’s low in calories and high in fibre. It’s also a good source of potassium, folate and Vitamin B6. Zucchini’s high water content means it’s also very hydrating. Creamy zucchini sauce is a great way to enjoy this vegetable, and can be made with a wide variety of spices that you might not normally pair with zucchini. You can add Mediterranean flavor with fresh basil, or Indian spices like cumin, coriander and turmeric. You can also mix in roasted squash with your zucchini for a creamy winter squash sauce. Zucchini and squash are both rich in Vitamin A, which is essential for healthy vision and skin. If you have kids or are caring for seniors who need help with vision, you can also add carrots to your sauce for a double dose of Vitamin A. Zucchini and carrots are also high in Vitamin C, which can help boost immunity.
Penne is a type of pasta that’s made with semolina flour, which is high in B vitamins, calcium and iron. It’s also a good source of protein and fibre. Penne is most commonly used in Bolognese sauce, but you can swap in this zucchini version for a healthier option. Homemade penne is also better for you than buying the boxed kind, since you can control the salt and quality of the ingredients. You can make your penne with zucchini sauce recipe even healthier and more nutritious by adding in cherry or grape tomatoes.
Creamy zucchini sauce is an easy way to add flavour and nutrients to your pasta recipe, and pairs well with basil, which is a superfood that is high in Vitamin K, fibre and antioxidants. Basil is also said to help with digestion, which can benefit those who are sensitive to dairy or wheat, since you can use a creamy zucchini sauce recipe with no cheese. You can make your creamy zucchini sauce with fresh basil in just 15 minutes, so it’s a great dish for weeknights, especially if you have kids who need to get their dinner to go. You can reduce the cooking time by using pre-cut zucchini, or by blending up the sauce in a high-speed blender.