Pasta with Zucchini, Mint, and Pecorino

Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
35 mins

Grated zucchini, anchovies, garlic, and a splash of pasta water create a summery, umami-packed sauce for gemelli. Salty Pecorino Romano and fresh mint are stirred in off the heat for even more flavor.


  • 12 ounces short curly pasta, such as gemelli or fusilli

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 3 anchovy fillets, rinsed and patted dry

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)

  • 2 pounds zucchini (about 5 small), shredded with a box grater

  • ¼ teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving

  • cup finely grated pecorino Romano, plus more for serving

  • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh mint leaves, chopped, plus more whole leaves for serving


  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups water; drain pasta.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl in oil. Add anchovies and garlic; cook, stirring, just until anchovies break down and garlic turns golden, about 30 seconds. Add zucchini; season with salt and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is very tender, about 5 minutes. Add pasta and 1 cup reserved pasta water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced and slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and mint. Add more pasta water if needed, a few tablespoons at a time, until sauce evenly coats pasta. Serve, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with more mint, pepper flakes, and cheese.

    mint pasta zucchini pecorino
    Bryan Gardner
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