Gemelli with Zucchini and Italian Sausage Recipe

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Categories: Italian, Main Dish, Pasta, Pasta, Pork, Vegetable

Submitted By: John Thorne from Northhampton.

Gemelli with Zucchini and Italian Sausage Notes

This recipe comes to us from the authors of several fascinating books on food philosophy, John Thorne and Matt Lewis Thorne. You can subscribe to their bimonthly food newsletter called "Simple Cooking". Find them online at "".

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered red chile
  • 2 links sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 8 ounces gemelli, or other short tubular pasta
  • to taste, grated Parmesan cheese and freshly ground black pepper
Serves / Yields

Serves 2

Preparation Instructions

Cut each zucchini into pieces that are approximately the length and thickness of the pasta you have chosen. Toss these in a bowl with the tablespoon of salt and let this sit for 30 minutes, turning it over occasionally.

After 15 minutes, start boiling a big pot of salted water for the pasta and continue with the recipe.

Put the olive oil, garlic, oregano, and powdered red chile into a skillet. Place this over medium heat, and cook until the garlic turns translucent. At the same time, break the sausage meat into bits and add these to the skillet. Stir occasionally to ensure that all the sausage meat is cooked through.

When the pasta water is about to boil, drain the liquid from the zucchini, spread an old but clean dish towel in the kitchen sink, and turn the zucchini pieces onto it. Wrap them up in the cloth and twist this as tightly as you can, extracting every possible bit of moisture.

Put the pasta into the boiling water.

Add the wrung-out zucchini to the skillet with the other ingredients and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, but gently, until the pasta is almost ready. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and stir this with the zucchini and sausage. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Drain the pasta and divide it between two plates, topping each with a portion of the sauce. Serve with a freshly grated parmesan and lots of freshly milled black pepper.

Quick Shopping List

Greek Oregano
Broken Leaf, in a glass jar
In a 1/2 cup shaker jar, net wt. .5 oz.
Cayenne Pepper
Ground, in a glass shaker jar
1/2 cup shaker jar, net wt. 2 oz.

Submit Comment

Adie W. Said:

I'm making this for the second time actually. I'm using a wide tubular pasta instead and added some thinly sliced onions. The only other change I made is adding the pasta to the sauce in the pan after it finished to coat it all with the yummy goodness before serving, which I prefer to spooning the sauce on top. This way every bite had great flavor. I would be happy buying this in a restaurant- spectacular! The zucchini stays nice and crisp from the salting/purging method- brilliant! I used some locally raised pork italian sausage which added to the great flavor. I also love the bit of heat and spice from the addition of the pepper. Simple is always best- this one delivers. Thanks!

Make it Again? Adie W. would make this recipe again.

Nick P. Said:

I made this for dinner tonight, it was good, quick and easy. I think that there's a little too much salt, next time I cook it I probably only use half to 3/4 the amount of salt the recipe calls for.

Make it Again? Nick P. would make this recipe again.