Venetian Vegetable Pasta

Venetian Vegetable Pasta is based on a dish Joe and I ate on our first visit to Venice.  We enjoyed it so much, we recreated it!  

This pasta has a very light sauce made with a colorful array of vegetables, a little vegetable broth and lots of cheese!  This vegetarian pasta dish is very quick to make, so its perfect for a speedy weeknight meal.

Venetian Vegetable Pasta reminds us of our first trip to Venice

This dish always reminds us of our very first trip to Italy.  We finally took a vacation after eight years and decided to go somewhere amazing.  Italy did not disappoint!

Venice is an enchanting city and a very unique place to visit.  Its canals are the main “roads” and after that its a multitude of nooks and crannies that the locals consider to be streets.  Because of the vast number of bridges over the canals, bicycles are not practical.  Even with a walking GPS we got lost, but somehow we always found what we were looking for.  In the process of wandering, we stumbled across more incredible looking and smelling restaurants then we could ever have time to visit during our stay!

Use Fresh Local Ingredients for the Best Flavor

It is important to remember that some of the ingredients you find in Italy take a different form than their American counterparts.  A good example of this is zucchini.  Some of the zucchini you find in Italy is called cucuzzi and can be slightly curved and up to 3 feet long! 

Italians use what they have locally and so should you.  Using local and fresh ingredients is the key to many dishes you cook at home.  The zucchini you typically see at your local supermarket will work just fine.  Make sure all of the produce you buy looks and feels fresh. Otherwise substitute it or leave it out, you will have a superior dish when you are done.  

Venetian Vegetable Pasta

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Recipe by Margaret Sanfelippo Course: Main DishCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy


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This pasta has a very light sauce made with a colorful array of vegetables, a little vegetable broth and lots of cheese! 


  • 1 lb 1 spaghetti

  • 1 tbsp 1 salt (for the pasta water)

  • 1 cup 1 onion, diced (about 1/2 an onion)

  • 1 cup 1 red, orange or yellow bell pepper, diced (about 1 bell pepper)

  • 1 cup 1 zucchini, diced (about 1 small zucchini)

  • 1 cup 1 yellow squash, diced (about 1 small yellow squash)

  • 1 cup 1 tomato, diced

  • 2 tbsp 2 olive oil

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 vegetable broth

  • 1 1/4 tsp 1 1/4 salt

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 black pepper

  • 1 cup 1 pecorino romano cheese, grated


  • Add 6 quarts of water plus 1 tbsp salt to a big pot.  Bring to a boil.
  • While the water is coming to a boil. Lets make the sauce.
  • Heat a large skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil on high heat.  Once it is hot, add the onions.  Season with 1/4 tsp salt, red pepper flakes and 1/8 tsp black pepper.  Turn the heat down to medium.  Sautee for 2-3 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the bell pepper.  Season with 1/4 tsp salt.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  • Next add the zucchini and yellow squash.  Season with 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until softed.
  • Add the tomatoes.  Season with 1/4 tsp salt.  Cook for a minute.
  • Add the vegetable broth.  Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer.
  • Now the water should be boiling.  Add the pasta to the pot and give it a stir.
  • Once the pasta is almost al dente (about 8 minutes), add the pasta to the sautee pan with the sauce.  Toss it all together.  If it seems a little dry, you can add a little of the pasta cooking water.
  • Turn off the heat.  Add the pecorino romano cheese.
  • Serve immediately.


  • You can add a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of cheese to each plate upon serving.

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