Beans and Lentils/ Italian/ Pasta/Noodles/ Pork/ Vegetables

Sausage, Zucchini, and Penne

Sausage, Zucchini, and Penne ~ An almost one pot delicious meal of sausage, zucchini, white beans, tomatoes, and penne tossed in creamy parmesan sauce.Sausage, Zucchini, Penne ~ The Complete SavoristMy brother and his lovely wife have lived in Boise for a few years now and I have not made the trek, one that turned out to be much shorter than I initially thought, to visit them. When the opportunity arose for me to go to Phoenix, I needed someone to watch Elizabeth.

My sister Jennifer and dear friend Darla have been my go-to help. But Darla was out of town and I had just burdened my sister with my kid when I went to Italy; it would have been most unfair to ask her to watch her again a mere 10 days later. I was grateful Joseph and Lindsay were willing to have her come to stay. I was eager for her to get to know her cousins better as well, as Addison is only 19 months younger than Elizabeth.

We arrived a couple of days before I departed to Phoenix to just hang out. It was great to see them, particularly my niece and nephew. My SIL Lindsay was very kind (and possibly quite happy) to relinquish her kitchen to me to make dinner. She had gone out to water her garden and when she returned she had 4 exquisite looking zucchini. Zucchini is one of my favorite veggies (green beans, cabbage, and brussels sprouts being my other favorites).

Thinking about what I could make with them, ideas started swirling about like they do in my head and eventually this is where I arrived. Tomatoes were not part of the original plan. But after the dish was constructed, it tasted great, but I felt it was missing something. Turns out it was the bit of acid and sweetness that tomatoes bring.

For me, whenever I make a new pasta dish, it has to go through a test before I deem it ready to publish. That test is titled “eaten cold, straight out of the fridge, and it still tastes good test.” Yes, it’s a mouthful title, but if it tastes great cold, then I know the dish is 100% a keeper. Oh, my brother gave it the same test and it passed for him too.
Sausage, Zucchini, Penne ~ The Complete Savorist

Sausage, Zucchini, and Penne

Author: Michelle


  • 1 lb penne or like pasta
  • 1 lb italian sausage; hot or mild
  • 1-15 oz can white beans; drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion; diced
  • 1 large , 2 small zucchini; quarter sliced and seeds removed
  • 3 medium garlic cloves; minced/grated
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil/butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt/pepper; to taste
  • 1-14.5 oz can petite tomatoes


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half/half
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese; grated finely
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 1/8 tsp salt/pepper; to taste
  • 1/2 cup pasta water; +/1 (best to pull out at least a cup of the water)


  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions, to al dente; DO NOT OVERCOOK PASTA.
  2. Reserve 1 cup of the water for making the sauce. Drain the pasta once cooked.

Meat and Veggies

  1. In a large pan, cook the Italian sausage, if using links, remove from casings.
  2. Once the sausage has cooked, drain the renderings and set aside.
  3. In the same pan as the sausage was cooked, sauté the onions for 3 minutes on medium high or until they begin to soften.
  4. Add the garlic and the zucchini, cook for another 3-5 minutes or until all are fork tender.
  5. Remove the veggies from the pan and add the to sausage; toss together.
  6. Pour the drained/rinsed beans into the sausage and veggies and mix GENTLY together; set aside.


  1. In the same pan as the add the butter and melt, whisk in flour until smooth and will become the consistency of paste.
  2. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and whisk until smooth.
  3. Whisk in the parmesan cheese; the sauce will thicken.
  4. Add the cream, thyme, and salt/pepper; whisk until well combined.
  5. Slowly add the pasta water until the sauce is smooth and thinned to a desired consistency.
  6. In the pasta pot, combing the pasta, sausage-veggies mix, and sauce; stir well.
  7. Add the canned tomatoes, undrained to the mixture.
  8. Serve immediately, top freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Sausage, Zucchini, Penne ~ The Complete SavoristSausage, Zucchini, Penne ~ The Complete SavoristSausage, Zucchini, Penne ~ The Complete Savorist

Thank you for sharing!

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  • Reply
    July 10, 2015 at 12:58 am

    We have a bunch of zucchini plants in our garden, they’re small right now but I’m sure we’re going to have a ton of squash later in the summer. This recipe looks like the perfect way to use it!

    • Reply
      July 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

      I love tossing zucchini into anything…mostly because soon enough, that’s all I will have, zucchini, zucchini, zucchini.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2015 at 5:52 am

    I love one pot meals. This is perfect for summer and all the fresh vegetables that are in season. Pinning!

    • Reply
      July 10, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Thank you Melissa. Hope you enjoy.

  • Reply
    Kristen @ A Mind Full Mom
    July 10, 2015 at 6:16 am

    Well, after this dish, I am sure your SIL would relinquish the kitchen over to you anytime!! YUM!! Love how fresh this is!

    • Reply
      July 10, 2015 at 11:25 am

      I think she might. I also made a couple of other dishes while there, including their rooster. 🙂

  • Reply
    Julie @ Texan New Yorker
    July 10, 2015 at 8:48 am

    This sounds perfect. I love how the summery zucchini would lighten up the richer sausage, but still let you enjoy a hearty pasta dish during the hot summer. A very good one for all the zucchini gardeners out there (alas not me – apartment dweller…)

    • Reply
      July 10, 2015 at 11:26 am

      The sauce is a light sauce, not heavy at all, just enough to give the strong parmesan flavor and bind the ingredients but still let the veggies and noodles be the true star.

  • Reply
    Debra @ Bowl Me Over
    July 10, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    I love to read your stories! AND my hubby brought home a big pile of zucchini just last night – perfect for dinner, thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
      July 11, 2015 at 3:09 am

      Hope you both enjoy it. And thank you for reading, I wonder who does.

  • Reply
    Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert
    July 10, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    This looks like a gorgeous fresh pasta dish! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Susan | LunaCafe
    July 10, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    Love your “cold from the fridge” test. I often nibble on cold leftover pasta. 🙂 This looks hearty and satisfying–so many great colors, textures, and flavors going on. Must try it it.

    • Reply
      July 11, 2015 at 3:10 am

      Thank you Susan, my test is so very scientific. 🙂

  • Reply
    Sandi Gaertner (@sandigtweets)
    July 10, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    Ha! I would relinquish my kitchen to you any day. You are an amazing cook Michelle 🙂 Hoping an opportunity comes from SF so we can finally meet up.

    • Reply
      July 11, 2015 at 3:10 am

      I would love to come cook for you and your family.

  • Reply
    Des @ Life's Ambrosia
    July 10, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    What a great hearty pasta dish!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2015 at 6:24 am

    Oh yes, a nice hearty pasta dish; right up my alley! mmmm, mmmm. I never think to add beans to my pasta dishes. It really seems like a good way to sneak them into the kids! You are so lucky to have so many people to help in babysitting. Sounds like you’re having a fun filled summer so far!

    • Reply
      July 11, 2015 at 2:51 pm

      Thanks Christine. I have lots of people to help, sadly, outside one friend, everyone else is HOURS away.

  • Reply
    Healing Tomato
    July 11, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    5 stars
    Your photos are amazing and your recipe is so delicious looking. I will make a vegetarian version of this recipe.

  • Reply
    July 12, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    4 stars
    One pot meals are the best, especially when feeding a crowd. What a tasty dish to feed your family. Love that the zucchini is straight from the garden. Doesn’t get any fresher!

    • Reply
      July 12, 2015 at 11:11 pm

      No, it doesn’t get any better than straight from the garden.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    This looks so good and easy. I like one dish meals and all the veggies.

  • Reply
    July 14, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    4 stars
    I like a little more sauce on my pasta.So next time will double my sauce, or add about 1/2 jar of store bought Alfredo sauce. Like that this only messes up 2 pots and a colander Served with garlic bread and a salad.. loved this dish. Great for hot Summer day.

    • Reply
      July 16, 2015 at 1:05 am

      I am a saucy gal too. I usually drown my pasta in sauce, but this time I wanted the noodles and veggies to be the star (plus my brother was a little leery of a creamy sauce.)

  • Reply
    Debi @ Life Currents
    July 22, 2015 at 11:47 am

    This looks good. I could totally make this with veggie sausages. Can’t wait to try it!

    • Reply
      July 22, 2015 at 11:53 am

      Oh easily or just sub some eggplant for the sausage or portobellos to make it “meaty”. Possibilities are endless and you are super creative.

  • Reply
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