Pasta, Pizza, Risotto, Vegan/Vegetarian

Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms

Loreto April 18, 2020

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Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms. This pasta dish incorporates vibrantly green zucchini and earthy mushrooms, combined with some garlic, olive oil, white truffle oil, and a bite of spicy chili flakes. Finished with the usual generous grating of Parmigiano and a sprinkle of parsley.

Song of the day: “You Should be Dancing” by The BeeGees.

Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms-plate and wine glass

There has never been a food that is more versatile than pasta, you can create endless possibilities according to your taste, what’s left in your fridge, or trying your hand at traditional recipes. It is always a welcome dish in our home and with spring in the air, making light vegetarian pasta dishes that are healthy and tasteful, is easy and comforting.

[This post was first published on April 21, 2015, and it has been updated for photos and writing]


How I made this Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms:

My take on a fresh pasta dish incorporating vibrantly green zucchini and succulent earthy mushrooms, combined with the pungent nature of garlic and a bite of spicy chili flakes, not forgetting about that lovely bite of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano! Healthy things do taste good!

Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms-ingredients

The shopping list:

  • Good quality Penne pasta
  • Zucchini
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Chili flakes
  • E.V.O. oil
  • Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Fresh Parsley

Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms-cooking mushroom and zucchini

The Pasta Process:

  • Firstly prep is in order, this will make cooking this dish so enjoyable. Chop everything up and get that oil, garlic, chili flakes into the pan to do a flavor waltz together.
  • Secondly saute those onions to release some of that incredible sweetness to the pot.
  • Thirdly in goes the mushrooms and when they start to soften a bit in goes the wine and we let that evaporate but the flavor is sealed into the pan. Time to taste for seasoning and I like truffle oil so I let a few drops into the pan and stir. Remember, with truffle oil a little dab will do ya!

Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms-penne in the pan

Always love finishing pasta in the sauce pan………………………………..

  • Fourthly get a pot of salted water on boil and do not add any oil to the water. Consequently, that would not allow this lovely simple veggie mix to attach itself to the pasta for incredible flavor. Cook the pasta for the time allocated on the package but pull it out a minute or so before and finish it in the pan. Reserve some of that pasta water because we want to add it to the pan after to create a light and very tasty sauce, with a dusting of Parmigiano and fresh chopped parsley!

We would like to hear your feedback on cooking pasta, do you like to finish the pasta in the pan or do you like when it is put in a serving dish with the sauce (whatever it is, white or red) on top?

Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms-in the pan  

  • Lastly time to plate this dish and another little bit of Parmigiano and parsley. However, I also like to finish with a little olive oil. I am really loving the look of this dish and the aroma is amazing. I love that really rich earthiness of the mushroom and truffle oil combination. While in contrast the rich pungent aroma of the Parmigiano balances the aromas. The end result “napkin please.”.

Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms-plate and pan in background

There is nothing like that aged flavor of a good Parmigiano Reggiano, and the earthiness of the extra virgin olive oil and finally a splash of color from the parsley, to finish the dish. We love Parmigiano so much that we usually put it on dishes that traditionally would not call for it. That’s not the case for this pasta because it compliments the flavors and tastes so good.

Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms-closeup plate-vertical

Better taste it just because…………………

The pasta is perfect. A nice toothy bite and the best part is this sauce created with the oil, chili flakes, garlic, zucchini and mushrooms plus the truffle oil . Absolutely amazing. My taste buds are jumping. There is sweet, spicy, acidity, earthy and a richness that is a joyous flavor town chorus in my mouth!

We paired this dish with a beautiful Chardonnay White from Nardelli Wines.

Final thoughts:

It is tough these days. Our normal routine and freedom has been squeezed and revamped. Many hours spent at home, lack of socialization, however there are also positives like:

  • Spending more time with family
  • Cooking really good food
  • Diversifying and making the best of a situation which is commendable
  • Remember to smile, laugh,  and  maybe take out those disco shoes and outfits and let Saturday Night fever, lol

Happy Spring and stay safe and healthy!


Song of the day: “You Should be Dancing” by The BeeGees.

Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms-closeup plate

Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms

  • Author: Loreto
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms. This pasta dish incorporates vibrantly green zucchini and earthy mushrooms, combined with some garlic, olive oil, white truffle oil, and a bite of spicy chili flakes. Finished with the usual generous grating of Parmigiano and a sprinkle of parsley.


  • 250 g penne pasta
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 and 1/2 medium zucchini
  • 2 1/2 cups  Crimini mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • pinch of peperoncino (dried chili peppers)
  • salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • a few drops white truffle oil
  • a couple sprigs chopped parsley
  • splash of white wine
  • 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano


  1. Wash and dice zucchini and mushrooms.
  2. Mince garlic
  3. Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. While waiting for water to boil sauté the garlic and peperoncini in olive oil.
  4. Add onions, diced zucchini and mushrooms and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add white wine and let dissipate.
  6. Place pasta in boiling water. While pasta is cooking finish off vegetables in pan with a few drops of white truffle oil.
  7. Drain pasta and toss in pan with vegetables adding a little of the cooking water as needed.
  8. Finish with grated Parmigiano and parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.
  9. Ready to serve.



  1. Cook pasta for a minute sooner than the allocated time on the package . Finish in the pan.
  2. When buying pasta look for those pastas that have a rougher texture. This will give you incredible flavor as the sauce really mingles with the pasta.
  3. The white truffle oil is an option. If you like it then put it in if not leave it out, it will be equally as good!
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Penne with Zucchini and Mushrooms-closeup plate

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  • Avatar
    Reply chefkreso April 20, 2020 at 6:46 am

    Simple & yummy, perfect combo for a quick lunch!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 20, 2020 at 10:58 am

      You are so right on all counts. Love pasta and its versatility and in minutes you have an amazing meal.
      Thank you Chef!

  • Avatar
    Reply Colleen April 20, 2020 at 9:44 am

    This dish is so simple yet elegant. I love the combo of fresh green zucchini and meaty mushrooms. And, I need to get some truffle oil. What a perfect seasoning for this dish. Thanks for sharing!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 20, 2020 at 10:57 am

      Thank you Colleen. This is a super delicious healthy dish that packs wonderful textures and flavors. Oh yes truffle oil a must have in the pantry so good. Really highlights the mushrooms!
      Have a great say and healthy day!

  • Avatar
    Reply Elaine April 20, 2020 at 11:36 am

    If I had to name one combo that I think if #1 in the world of penne, that would be zucchini and mushrooms. There is just nothing else that can beat it. Love your penne and can’t wait to try it out! 🙂

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 20, 2020 at 12:14 pm

      Thank you Elaine
      You are so right it a a perfect compliment to that lovely pasta know as penne! So excited for you to try it. If you have use the truffle oil at the end it just elevates this dish in incredible ways!
      Happy cooking!

  • Avatar
    Reply Megan April 20, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    bringing out the truffle oil! heck yea cant wait to give this recipe a try!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 22, 2020 at 8:23 am

      Hi Megan love your enthusiasm. As you know truffle oil is really an acquired taste, however for those of us who love it, it is a welcomed finisher. Pairs perfect with the mushrooms and zucchini!
      Thank you for checking this recipe out!

  • Avatar
    Reply Chandice Probst April 20, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    The combination of mushrooms and pasta make this such a filling dish even without meat… Love it! The zucchini adds freshness that marries perfectly.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 22, 2020 at 8:11 am

      Thank you Chandice, well put and I agree. The mushrooms offer such a distinct meatiness o the dish and it is so enjoyable with that sweetness of the zucchini and onion!
      Have an exceptional cooking week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Eva April 21, 2020 at 11:48 am

    Oh you bet I finish the pasta in the sauce skillet! Better yet, in a saltapasta skillet 😀 Here in Sweden boiled pasta is always served on the side and you’re supposed to take that and then top it with as much sauce as you wish. But doing so you miss out on fusing the pasta with the elements of the sauce. It always has me shaking my head.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 22, 2020 at 8:08 am

      Hi Eva, I totally agree with you pasta needs some time to mingle with the sauce, get to know each other and blossom into a delicious foodie relationship! In Italy we always serve the pasta mixed its the only way we know! Thank you so much for your lovely supportive comment and keep doing what your doing!

  • Avatar
    Reply CAMILLA HAWKINS April 21, 2020 at 5:37 pm

    I love courgettes, mushrooms and garlic so this dish is going on my to make list immediately! A great dish to please the family midweek!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 22, 2020 at 8:04 am

      Thank you Camilla, yes this combination along with the pasta is a great match and is such an easy and quick meal for the week. So glad you liked it! I am excited for you to try it!
      Have fun cooking this week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Tammy April 24, 2020 at 9:49 am

    A simple but always delicious meal…this is a great spring pasta dish. Looks absolutely delish!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 27, 2020 at 6:45 pm

      Thank you. I love pasta, of course I am Italian and that is a given but pasta like these go a long way in my books. Economical, delicious and presents so well!
      Happy cooking!

  • Avatar
    Reply Aleta April 25, 2020 at 8:06 am

    This pasta is amazing!!! I love the combination of mushrooms and zucchini, and of course nothing beats fresh parmesan and parsley. So good!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 27, 2020 at 6:44 pm

      Thank you Aleta. I also like that small hit of truffle oil. Just elevates all the veggie flavors so nicely! As a whole just a lovely dance for the tastebuds to experience!
      Have a wonderful week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Alice | SkinnySpatula April 26, 2020 at 3:03 am

    The zucchini and mushrooms combo is a winner. I make a similar pasta dish with zucchini and aubergine, but yours sounds incredible.

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto April 27, 2020 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Alice Thank you but the zucchini and aubergine would be a great combo too. Both lovely pasta dishes any day of the week!

  • Avatar
    Reply Shailaja DESAI September 3, 2020 at 8:44 am

    You got me at the truffle oil…just love the flavour! This would have enhanced this beautiful penne pasta to another level! Always nice to see your blog posts…have a a great day!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto September 10, 2020 at 6:58 am

      Thank you so much Shailaja, it makes us very happy to hear you love our posts. You are so right on the flavors and yes I too when I hear truffle oil, I am all in. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Avatar
    Reply Sophie October 17, 2020 at 1:37 am

    The recipe is great, however Parmigiano is not vegetarian as it uses rennet! If you leave that out, it’s a very tasty, cruelty-free meal!

    • Loreto
      Reply Loreto October 17, 2020 at 8:39 am

      Thank you for sharing! Yes it is not vegetarian, your right, however there are plenty of vegetarian substitutes for parmigiano, and you are so right when you say it is delicious without!

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