Farfalle with beans and zucchini in a walnut sauce


Farfalle with beans and zucchini in a walnut sauce

Enjoy this easy vegan pasta recipe through autumn. It’s the perfect balance of protein, fibre, vitamins and carbohydrates, all bound up in a delicious, highly nutritious meal.

Serves: 4


  • 3 baby zucchini with their flowers
  • 100ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
  • 1 zucchini, cut into 2–3 pieces
  • 350–400g dried farfalle pasta (or other short pasta)
  • 100g (1 cup) walnuts
  • ¼ garlic clove
  • 2 large handfuls of basil leaves, plus extra to serve
  • handful of mint leaves, plus extra to serve
  • salt flakes and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 400g can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • finely grated lemon zest, to serve


  1. Separate the baby zucchini from their flowers. Remove the stamen from within the petals and open the flowers up slightly. Slice the baby zucchini into thin rounds.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini rounds and cook for 3–5 minutes or until golden. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Boil the chopped zucchini for 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Drop the pasta into the water and stir well, then cook until nicely al dente.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, place the boiled zucchini, walnuts, garlic, herbs and remaining olive oil in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Taste for salt and adjust accordingly. Scoop into a large bowl and stir through the cannellini beans.
  5. Drain the pasta, reserving a few tablespoons of the pasta water, and rinse it under cold water to stop the cooking. Add the pasta to the sauce, along with the cannellini beans and baby zucchini rounds, and toss to combine. Add the reserved pasta cooking water if it’s a bit dry. Sprinkle over the lemon zest and top with a few extra mint and basil leaves and the zucchini flowers. Finish with a good grinding of pepper and a drizzle of extra olive oil and serve.
Simple Italian by Silvia Colloca, Published by Plum, RRP $39.99, Photography by Rob Palmer.

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