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Gemelli Pasta and Zucchini in a Green Sauce

Gemelli Pasta and Zucchini in a Green Sauce

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Turn up the basil flavor in your kitchen with this aromatic and delicious Gemelli Pasta made with Shredded Zucchini and Italian Green Sauce.  This pasta dish screams summer in both flavors and smell.  The bonus is that it doesn’t require a lot of time to get on the table.  



What is an Italian Green Sauce?

The star of this show is the fresh green sauce.  It is a huge flavor booster and little goes a very long way – just a dollop will do it. 

What’s a green sauce? I’m not sure what the technical term of  “Italian Green Sauce” is, but to me it is NOT a pesto since it has no nuts or cheese.   What I do know is every summer my mother would take our garden herbs – basil, parsley, and sometimes even mint – and blend them together with olive oil and garlic.  She would put the sauce into little jars that lined the inside door of our refrigerator.  She called it a green sauce and would use it as a base for sauces like pesto, just put a touch in sauces for freshness, and even as a seasoning on potatoes and other vegetables.  

Gemelli with Zucchini and Green Sauce

I can’t remember how long the jars lasted but I do know that it remains one of the most fragrant and delicious memories of my Mother’s kitchen during summer.  This pasta with shredded zucchini, a few dollops of this no cook green sauce, along with some shavings of ricotta salata is not only a flavorful summer past but a variation of one of my favorite childhood meals.  So whip some fresh herbs in olive oil, grab some zucchini, ricotta salata and take a summer trip down memory lane with me. 

Happy Cooking and enjoy! 

Gemelli Pasta Green Sauce and Zucchini

Gemelli Pasta with Zucchini in Italian Green Sauce

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 lb Barilla Gemilli Pasta
  • 2 medium Zucchini - shredded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded Ricotta Salata
  • Few handfuls of Grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons of green sauce see below for quick recipe


  • Cook gemelli pasta in plenty of salted water.
  • Using the large grates of a cheese grater shred 2 small/medium sized zucchini. Heat olive oil in a saute pan and cook zucchini until they are al dente (4 mins or so). Season with zucchini with salt and pepper to taste. Drain pasta (but leave a little water).
  • Add pasta to the saute pan with the zucchini; add a dollop or two of the "green sauce" along with a good handful (or two) of grated parmesan cheese. Gently toss once more and serve with shredded Ricotta Salata over the top.


Green Sauce:
Bunch of parsley
Bunch of Basil
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt to preserve
Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor or blender. Taste for seasoning.
Store unused sauce in glass jar and refrigerate.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
I used the following kitchen tools in today’s recipe – you can find out more of what is in Cheftini’s Pantry HERE

Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus 4-Cup Food Processor

4 oz Ball Mason Jar with Lids and Bands

You can't argue with one of the world's top pasta brands ... Many thanks to Barilla Pasta! "Pasta Perfection"- BarillaUs
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