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A white plate with colorful tortellini pasta with zucchini, tomatoes and shaved parmesan cheese.

Quick Summer Pasta

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 -3 people
Author by Jenny Skrapaliori Graves


  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 ½ cups green zucchini cut in ½ inch cubes
  • 2 ½ cups small multicolor heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • zest from 2 lemons
  • 1 lbs fresh ricotta filled tortellini pasta or the pasta of your choice

For serving

  • parmesan cheese for serving
  • fresh basil leaves optional


  • Fill a large pot with water, cover and place over high heat.
  • Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a large sauté pan. In medium heat, add the onions. Season with a pinch of salt. Stir well and sauté for 1 min. Add the garlic. Sauté for 1 more minute.
  • Add the zucchini cubes. Stir well. Sauté for 2 min. 
  • Add the tomatoes. Mix well. Sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar all over the tomatoes. Stir well. Keep sautéing in medium heat for 5 min tops. Remove from heat. Check and adjust salt and pepper to your liking.
  • Your water should be boiling by now. Add a generous tbsp of salt in the water. Stir well. Add the pasta and cook according to instructions. If you are using fresh pasta it should not take long. Keep an eye on it.
  • Reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
  • When pasta is ready, drain well and add it to the pan where your veggies are. Mix everything well gently. Add a little pasta water if you feel  it is too dry. 
  • Sprinkle half of the lemon zest. Stir gently. 
  • Serve in bowls with a swish of a little extra virgin olive oil, a sprinkle of lemon zest and shaved parmesan. Add a couple of basil leaves. Grind some fresh ground pepper or chili flakes to give it a kick if you like.