Pasta with Zucchini and Coriander Paste

The recipe below is for a very simple and delicious pasta dish, which is easy to make gluten free, when using any type of gluten free pasta. I like it with spaghetti and penne variety. You can use any commercial pesto sauce, but as I actively dislike them, it took my husband to make simple coriander preserve from organic coriander grown in our friends garden, to actually realise how delicious it can be in pasta dish. The preserve has only coriander leaves, sea salt, oil (we used walnut oil) and pine nuts. The dish itself requires onion, zucchini, Parmesan cheese and toasted pine nuts, and can be ready in time for pasta to be cooked.

Quantities of ingredients depend on your taste and the number of people to be served.


coriander paste/preserve 

  • bowl of coriander leaves, no stems (120-150g)
  • sea salt, 3-5g
  • pine nuts, 50-70g
  • oil, we used organic walnut oil, 50g

for pasta

  • zucchini
  • onion (one per medium zucchini)
  • olive oil and butter 1:1 for frying
  • pine nuts, toasted
  • Parmesan cheese, shaved
  • sea salt
  • black pepper (optional)


  • prepare paste from fresh coriander leaves (see here, with more options for other varieties of coriander preserve with garlic and chilli peppers)

Coriander paste can be kept refrigerated for 2-3 weeks, or frozen in small portions for individual use.

  • toast pine nuts in a dry pan
  • cook pasta in boiling water to your liking
  • while pasta is cooking, heat olive oil and butter in deep frying pan
  • add onion, sliced in semi-circles, season with salt and pepper
  • cook onion on low/medium heat until translucent
  • add sliced zucchini, baby zucchini are the best to use
  • stir and cook for 2-3 minutes, just to make them barely soft, do not overcook
  • drain pasta, if cooked in a small portion in a sauce pan, return it to sauce pan and add coriander paste, the taste of the paste is intense, do not add too much, stir
  • add pasta with coriander paste to a frying pan with onions and zucchini, mix well
  • if cooked in larger portions, add drained pasta to a frying pan and add coriander paste, mix well
  • serve with shaved Parmesan cheese and pine nuts

Enjoy! I certainly did, as I cooked the dish 5 days in a row and completely changed my mind about coriander preserves, not commercial pesto though.

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