Serves 4
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Convinced you’ve tried every healthy pasta recipe? Switch things up with this rigatoni, accompanied by zucchini and chilli for a spicy, savoury and fresh combination. The healthy and vegan recipe also comes with a generous toss of buffalo mozzarella, ensuring the cheesy goodness we love in a good pasta dish.


  • 8 zucchini flowers with stems attached (150 g)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 small green zucchini (540 g), sliced thinly crossways
  • 400 g rigatoni pasta
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil, extra
  • 2 fresh long red chillies, sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
  • ½ cup (40 g) finely grated parmesan
  • 180 g buffalo mozzarella, torn

Discard yellow stamens from centre of zucchini flowers; trim stems. Cut zucchini flowers and attached stems in half lengthways.


Heat oil in a large frying pan over high heat; cook all zucchini, in batches, for 2 mins, stirring occasionally, until just tender. Transfer to a bowl; cover to keep warm. Reserve pan.


Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender. Drain, reserving ¾ cup (180 ml) of the cooking liquid. Return pasta to pan; cover to keep warm.


Add extra oil to reserved frying pan; cook chilli and garlic over medium heat for 3 mins or until chilli is softened. Stir in parsley and rind. Add oil mixture to pasta in pan with zucchini and parmesan; toss well. Add reserved cooking liquid as necessary. Transfer to a large warmed serving bowl, add mozzarella; toss gently to combine. Season to taste.

TIP This recipe is spicy, add as much of the chilli as is suitable to your heat tolerance. It is also best made just before serving. You can use bocconcini instead of the buffalo mozzarella, if you prefer. Some cheeses may contain animal rennet; check labels carefully for non-animal rennet cheeses, which are now widely available in supermarkets.

Photo: bauersyndication.com.au

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