Penne Pasta with Shrimp and Zucchini in a Light Sauce

This easy and simple penne pasta recipe came about last summer when I had an abundance of zucchini from my garden.  I gave some zucchini to my neighbors and family.  They really enjoyed cooking and eating fresh vegetables.  I used it in my salads and baked bread with it. I was craving pasta so I thought of using it in a pasta dish. Then I made this dish and pasta primavera.  I love making pasta this way because it’s a whole meal in a plate. The best part is it cooks in fifteen minutes!

I enjoy the traditional pasta dishes with red sauce but sometimes I like to change it up. Adding fresh vegetables adds a pack of nutrients to the dish.  Zucchini contains vitamins, magnesium, folate, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium  and protein.  When choosing zucchini, pick the ones that are 4-6 inches inches in length. As they get bigger, they get tougher and the flavor is not as sweet.  Shrimp is also a  good source of protein.

The succulent shrimp and fresh zucchini here combines well with the light white sauce.  For the white sauce, I added half and half for a creamy flavor.  When I mix it with the parmiggiano reggiano and beaten eggs it’s almost like carbonara which I really enjoy. Try to get the real parmiggiano reggiano from Italy.  They are readily available now at supermarkets where they sell for about $6 a wedge. I think that is a reasonable price.  I promise you will find that it taste better!

Try this penne pasta recipe for a quick week night dinner.  It’s easy and simple to make and nutritious.   Sometimes I substitute fettuccine or linguine for the pasta here. You can even use spaghetti if you like. Enjoy it with a glass of your favorite dry white wine!

Penne with Shrimp and Zucchini

Penne with succulent shrimp and zucchini in a light sauce.
Servings 4
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 8 oz. penne or fettuccine
  • ½ onion diced
  • 2 medium zucchini cut in strips
  • 1 lb shrimp shelled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving
  • 2 sprigs of italian parsley chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Boil Water in a pot on high heat. When it starts to boil, drop pasta with some salt and mix. Let pasta cook for 10 mins.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add in onions and let cook for 2-3 mins. until translucent.
  • Add zucchini and shrimp to the skillet. Mix it in and let cook for 5 mins.
  • Add half & half, beaten eggs, and cheese. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Mix it in and let cook for 1 minute. (The hot pasta will cook the eggs). Top with more grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
    penne pasta recipe with shrimp and zucchini
Author: Elizabeth Segal
Course: Main Course
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