Meatless Mediterranean Pasta with Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes & Pignoli, Gluten-Free

Meatless Mediterranean Pasta with Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes & Pignoli, Gluten-Free

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: Very Easy

After our holiday baking was over, we had pignoli left over so we came up with this delicious, healthy recipe to kickstart 2020. Our first recipe for the new year is a meatless Mediterranean dish. In spite of our husbands' carnivore appetites, this meatless dish satisfied them both...we were in heaven! This recipe delivers an exciting depth of flavor with a wonderful blending of ingredients. We think you and your family will love it.


  • 3 pounds zucchini and yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise & sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • 1/3 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 Tablespoons EVOO
  • 1 pound gluten-free pasta (we used Le Veneziane gluten-Free Farfalle)
  • 12 oz cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • Grated Pecorino Romano


  1. After cutting the zucchini and summer squash, sprinkle with approximately 1 Tablespoon of kosher salt and let drain in a colander for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels & wipe away residual salt. Set aside.
  2. While squash is draining, fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, lower flame to simmer until ready to cook pasta.
  3. In a 12-inch non=stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of EVOO over high heat. Once it starts to smoke, add half the squash and cook until slightly charred, turning occasionally, approximately 5-6 minutes. Reduce heat if the skillet starts to overheat. Transfer to a large plate then repeat step 3 with the remaining half of squash and another tablespoon of EVOO. Transfer 2nd batch to plate and set aside.
  4. Bring water to full boil and add salt then the pasta. Cook according to package directions, reserving 1 cup of cooked pasta water.
  5. In the same skillet, heat another tablespoon of EVOO. Add pignoli and toast lightly, then add red onion, garlic, and pepper flakes. Cook approximately 1 minute until fragrant.
  6. Drain pasta (reserve 1 cup of pasta water) then return pasta to the pot. Add the squash, tomatoes, pignoli mixture, vinegar, basil, and remaining 2 Tablespoons of EVOO. Mix well to combine.
  7. Add enough reserved pasta water to keep moist consistency but not soupy. You may not need the whole cup. Lightly drizzle with EVOO and top with grated cheese.


Note:  If gluten is not an issue, use your favorite brand of pasta. If your family must have meat, feel free to add whatever they like. 

Did you make this recipe? We would love to hear from you. Please leave us a comment below or Tag @twiinsinthekitchen on Instagram and hashtag it #twiinsinthekitchen.


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4 thoughts on “Meatless Mediterranean Pasta with Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Tomatoes & Pignoli, Gluten-Free

  1. It was so good I almost didnt miss the lack of meat in the dish .Look foward to having again.

  2. I made this tonight. It was fabulous! I used whole wheat pasta because we are not gluten free. My husband thanked me for making something so healthy and so delicious, so I am thanking you.


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