This may be the best pasta dish I’ve ever made. You won’t miss the meat at all, I promise. The pasta is full of flavor with beefy baby portabello mushrooms, grated zucchini, and freshly grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese. Seriously, I could have eaten the whole thing in one sitting. I ate about half…Self control.

Anyway, make this pasta. It’s delicious.


1/2 pound of penne pasta (or another short pasta)

1/2 cup of pasta water reserved (water used to cook the pasta in)

1 large zucchini grated, using the larger grating slots on a box grater

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cloves of garlic finely minced

10-12 baby portabello mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and thinly sliced

1 cup of grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving (preferable freshly grated)

1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes (I like things hot)

salt and pepper

pasta 2


1. In a large pot, boil water for pasta. When the water comes to a boil, add in a good amount of salt, and then add the penna pasta. Cook according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, Grate the zucchini, and wrap in a clean dish cloth. Squeeze the zucchini in the dish cloth to remove most of the water. A couple of good squeezes should do the trick.

3. In a large skillet, heat 1/3 cup olive oil over medium heat.

4. Once the oil is hot, add the minced garlic to the skillet and sautee for 1 minute, stirring so the garlic doesn’t burn.

5. Add the zucchini to the garlic and oil and sautee for 3 minutes.

6. Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water and set to the side. Drain the pasta and set to the side as well.

7. After the zucchini has cooked with the garlic and oil, add the sliced baby portabello mushrooms to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and sautee the vegetables for another 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through.

8. Add the drained penne pasta to the pan, and start by adding 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Mix well. If the pasta looks dry, add the rest of the pasta water to the pan, but you probably will only need 1/4 cup.

9. Remove the pan from the heat and add in 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or however much you like). Toss well.

10. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and sprinkle with some additional grated parmesan.

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