zucchini and white bean pasta

We love zucchini, always looking for new ways to stick it into dishes. Yellow squash, hmm, probably almost the same flavor profile, but the wrong color, so when this squash and bean combo appeared, bob's food radar went off and the newspaper page was pulled for a trial run. We've been doing half pound pasta quantities to limit our carb intake these days, which has the downside of limiting leftovers, maybe we should reconsider that. So anyway, we kept the zucchini and bean levels but used only one third the pasta, making it more hearty which we liked very much in the finished product. Bucatini is classic with an amatriciana sauce, but in this case it also works well, nice presentation and seems to go with the sauce too. Is that enough chatter?


what she said     what we did  
1/4 c + 1 T extra virgin olive oil   1/4 c + 1 T  extra virgin olive oil
1 t hot red pepper flakes (or to taste)   1 t  hot red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1 1/2 lb squash (she used yellow), cut into thin disks   4 medium zucchini, cut into thin half disks
4 garlic cloves, sliced thinly   4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 16 oz can cannellini or white navy beans   1 16 oz can cannellini beans (it's Italian!)
  salt and freshly ground black pepper     salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 lb bucatini or other pasta     bucatini (okay, will work with other pasta)
1/4 c freshly chopped Italian parsley (or 4 T dried)     freshly chopped Italian parsley
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated   1/4 c parmigiano, plus extra on each serving!


  1. Start the pasta water boiling in your big pasta pot, the usual story. When boiling generously salt the water and dump in the pasta and cook until al dente, a minute short of doneness since it will get more heat when combined with the sauce.
  2. Meanwhile heat 1/4 c oil in a nonstick pan until smokin', add the red pepper flakes and one one layer of squash to brown without moving if you like browned veggies, and repeat in batches till done adding oil as needed, we just threw them all in together and softened them without browning.
  3. Remove the squash from the pan if you want to follow the browned veggie route, adding the T of oil, otherwise continue.
  4. Add in the garlic and cook without burning, not very long.
  5. Then toss in the beans and simmer 5 minutes until warmed up (they are precooked!).
  6. Season with salt and pepper, add in 1/4 c pasta water, then remove from the heat waiting till the pasta is cooked.
  7. Drain the pasta and combine with the sauce and the parsley in the pan or pot (easier in the pot if your pan is overwhelmed by the pasta) and mix it up for 30 seconds to a minute on medium heat.
  8. We tossed in the parmigiano at the end stage leaving the pasta in the pot, she says to put in a warm serving bowl and top with the cheese.
  9. We like extra parmigiano and pepper on our servings. We finished off the whole thing ourselves.


  1. Philly Inquirer food blog My Daughter's Kitchen by Maureen Fitzgerald, October 31, 2013: bucatini with spicy squash and beans.
  2. Illustrations available.
zucchinibeanpasta.htm: 7-nov-2013 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]