Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Peas and Capers

Last week I posted this delicious Fettuccine pasta dish and I had leftovers plus an abundance of summer zucchini. So, I made one of my all time favorite dishes that I know will become yours too! It is packed with umami which makes it so good. What’s umami? Read on…

This is an excerpt from my book, The Vegan ABCs Cookbook:

“Umami is considered the fifth taste, along with sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Umami is a Japanese word that translates to pleasant savory taste and deliciousness and basically explains everything about why we like to eat what we like to eat. It was coined by a Japanese chemist in the early 1900s who discovered that the unique flavor of three specific amino acids, including glutamate, found in certain foods—including meat, seafood and aged cheeses—activates our taste receptors and creates a satisfying, savory flavor experience. But there are plant foods that are also rich in umami, like mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic, olives and fermented foods like miso, tempeh, tamari, umeboshi and vinegar. Umami-rich ingredients are listed in almost every recipe throughout this book because it’s what makes your food taste delicious!”

Back to this pasta. It’s got tomato sauce, garlic and the capers, so tons of umami and lots of deliciousness. Make it just for you or for a big crowd!

Summer Pasta with Zucchini, Peas and Capers

Servings 4 bowls


  • 12 oz fettuccine or other long pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 big leek, cleaned and cut into quarters
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 big zucchini, cut into thin rounds
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup fresh shelled English peas or defrosted frozen peas (cook the English peas separately, until al dente)
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter


  1. Get the pasta going and cook until al dente. (It will be ready by the time the zucchini is, so don't drain it, you will drop it right into the sauce.)

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan and add the leeks and garlic. Cook until the leeks are soft and melty.

  3. Add the zucchinis and cook until soft and browning. Add the tomato sauce and capers. Deglaze with pasta water to create a nice sauce.

  4. When the pasta is ready, add it to the pan with the zucchinis. Add the peas, butter and stir to coat. Add more pasta water, if desired. Enjoy!

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