Penne Giardiniera | Zucchini Pasta with spinach balls


Looking for a vegetarian pasta recipe?!
This classic recipe from Antonio Carluccio the Godfather of Italian food is pure genius. It combines crispy fried spinach balls with a buttery Zucchini (Courgette) pasta, spiked with flecks of chilli. It is a rich, tasty and utterly satisfying dish. The spinach balls are amazing.

Penne Giardiniera | Zucchini Pasta with spinach balls

Servings 3
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins


For the spinach balls

  • 350 gm Spinach about 125gm when cooked
  • 1/2 Egg
  • 1 clove Garlic grated
  • Pinch of nutmeg ground
  • 20 gm Parmesan cheese freshly grated
  • 35 gm Dry breadcrumbs
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for shallow frying

For the pasta

  • 250 gm Penne pasta
  • 40 gm Butter
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 2 no's Red chilies can be substituted with dried chili red flakes
  • 350 gm Zucchini (Courgette or Koosa) 1 medium size, grated
  • 120 gm Parmesan cheese freshly grated


  • Boil, but don’t overcook, spinach in lightly salted water. Press it dry, and tear it apart toughly.
  • In a bowl, mix together the torn spinach, egg, nutmeg, garlic, grated, parmesan cheese, freshly grated, bread crumbs, Salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Create small balls (this mixture should yield approx. 18 balls). Fry until golden brown. Set aside.
  • In a large pan of salted water, boil the pasta until it’s al dente. Drain and keep warm.
  • In a pan, melt the butter and cook the garlic and chilies for a minute.
  • Add the grated zucchini and fry for a minute or two.
  • Add the cooked pasta and toss in most the grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper
  • To serve, spoon the pasta into a deep plate or shallow bowl. Add the spinach balls and sprinkle the remaining Parmesan. Enjoy!
Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: European, Italian
Keyword: Antonio Carluccio, best veggie pasta, passion for pasta, Pasta With Courgettes

Did you make this recipe?

I really hope you guys will make this try this special recipe at home and if you do, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram (@shebascalmcuisine) and use the hashtag #calmcuisine. Happy cooking :)!

Food for Soul

In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord. ~ Isaiah 66:9 (NCV)

You’ve asked God to make something beautiful out of your life.

A garden isn’t beautiful until it’s seen some rainy days; until some weeds have been plucked out of it. So don’t be surprised by the rainy days or when things around you start disappearing. Pain is often the key that unlocks the most beautiful stories.

God be with you!

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