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Fresh Tomato Sauce With Zucchini and Italian Sausage

I love to cook a variety of recipes, but old Italian dishes are my comfort food.

Pasta with Fresh Tomato and Zucchini and Sausage

Pasta with Fresh Tomato and Zucchini and Sausage

Tomatoes and Zucchini for a Tasty Pasta Recipe

Whether you have a garden of your own, your neighbor has one, or you regularly visit the farmer's markets, you may find that you have an abundance of tomatoes and zucchini. I often find myself in this situation, and I need to figure out how to use up this produce. I've chopped up lots of it in my food processor and I've frozen it for later; I've also given lots of it away, but I still have a lot left over. I don't can, so I had to come up with a way to use some of it for tonight's dinner.

You can make any recipe your own. I came up with this particular recipe, but you can take this as a starting point and tweak it so that it becomes your own. That's the beauty of tomato sauce—it's very personal, and you can make it your own.

Some people like a sweet tomato sauce. Not me or my family. A little sugar has to be added to cut the acid of the tomatoes but not enough to make it sweet. But if that's your cup of tea, so to speak, then by all means, add a little more sugar. The same goes for all of the seasonings. Add just the ones you like, and skip the ones you don't or your digestive system can't tolerate. I hope you give this recipe a try, though. Mangiare Bene!

Tomatoes from our garden.

Tomatoes from our garden.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

40 min

25 min

1 hour 5 min

Serves at least 4 people


  • 7 fresh medium size tomatoes
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste, I used tomato paste from a tube, but you can use the one from a can if you like.
  • To taste salt and black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 dash crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated


  1. To peel the tomatoes, let them sit in a bowl of really hot (almost boiling) water until it looks like the skin is coming loose. Then, cool them with cold water and peel the skin off and chop them. Cut the zucchini in chunks, no need to peel it. Cut the sausage in chunks about the same size as you chopped the zucchini.
  2. Heat a large pan and add a little olive oil. When it is heated, add the chopped zucchini and sauté for about 2 minutes on medium-high heat. Then, add the sausage and let it get brown.
  3. Then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste and the rest of the seasonings. Bring the heat down to medium and cover and let it all cook together. If it's bubbling too fast, bring the temperature down to a simmer.
  4. In the meantime, bring a pot to a boil and add the salt and start cooking your pasta. When it is cooked, add it to the zucchini and tomato mixture.
  5. Sprinkle it with your grating cheese and let it cook another minute to marry everything together and serve. Enjoy!

What Kind of Pasta to Serve This With?

This sauce can be served with your favorite pasta. My husband likes ziti and I like all pastas, so I generally use what he likes. But with this type of sauce with the short pieces of sausage, the short tubular pastas are the best. Rigatoni, penne, the curly types, or even the bow ties will be good with this sauce. You be the judge of that. Use whatever you and your family like the best.

Tip: Tomato Paste in a Tube

I wouldn't use tomato paste in a tube for a large pot of sauce or soup, but in a recipe like this where you just need a tablespoon or two or even three, it is more economical to get it from a tube. You just squeeze it out and replace the cap and refrigerate it.

If you open a can, you have to put it in another container and refrigerate it and if you don't use the rest of it in a reasonable amount of time, it does get moldy and you have to throw it away. So I have both, cans of tomato paste and also in a tube. I also have a tube of anchovy paste for the same reason.

Please Rate This Recipe

© 2018 Rachel L Alba


Rachel Alba on October 24, 2018:

Hi Patricia, So nice to hear from you, I'm so glad you enjoyed my recipe. It's always especially nice when I make the recipe up myself. I just saw your comment in my e-mail. Many blessings to you and your family.

Rachel Alba on October 02, 2018:

That information about celery seeds is new to me. It's true you learn something new every day. Thanks for the information and I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe. I never thought of doing it with rice. I'll try that the next time.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on October 02, 2018:

I made this just switching the pasta for brown rice day before yesterday and had the left overs yesterday and sure looked forward to them knowing how good they were.

The seasonings you called for in this I use in nearly all my dishes. They just flavor up anything, don't they? I add a little celery seed to many things too because it is so good for you. Reduces water retention and therefore great for the blood pressure. I have sprinkled that on ice cream even!

I am having some high sugar problems now from a prednisone injection... so no pasta. This was so delicious though it will go into my special Rachel folder.

Patricia Scott on October 01, 2018:

Thanks for yhe reminder abiut the carbs. I have tried this snd it is yummy. My family and. I are embracing each day snd are thankful. Angels on the way to you

Rachel Alba on September 30, 2018:

Thank you Ramona for visiting my hubs and for the nice comment. Hope you enjoy it.

Blessings to you.

Ramona from Arkansas on September 30, 2018:

I have the same problem, having to much zucchini and never knowing what to do with it. I will have to try your recipe. Thank you for sharing.

Rachel Alba on September 28, 2018:

Hi Jackie, It's always nice to see an old friend. As always you are an encouragement to me. Thank you for such nice comments and visits. Your recipe for the onions sautéed in butter and the tomatoes added sounds delicious. Thanks for the idea.

Blessings to you.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on September 28, 2018:

Haven't been able to raise tomatoes the last couple of summers but I still buy fresh ones at a good deal as often as I can. I scald them and cook and freeze. Since I discovered freezing is so much better I would never can again and I remember my poor mom canning tomatoes. I don't know how she lived through it summer after summer, but I am sure millions have!

I just cooked up some yesterday and saved out a quart to add to onions I had sauteed in butter and I just did not want to quit eating!

I know this is a delicious recipe and that you could never have a bad one! I will no doubt be trying a version of this before the weekend is over I would bet!

Rachel Alba on September 26, 2018:

Hi Peggy. This means so much to me. Thank you for such an encouragement. I never know if a recipe that I created myself would be appealing to others.

Blessings to you.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 26, 2018:

This sounds absolutely delicious! Zucchini can be mixed into so many dishes and I really like the flavor of sweet Italian sausage. I voted 5 stars on this recipe and will pin it to my pasta board.

Rachel Alba on September 25, 2018:

Hi Linda, yes, you can add or change anything you like, especially if you are a vegetarian. So glad you liked the recipe and so nice to hear from you. You are always an encouragement.

Blessings to you.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on September 23, 2018:

I always love the combination of tomatoes, cheese, and herbs. Adding sausage to the sauce sounds great, too, though I would use a vegetarian sausage substitute. The food in your photos looks delicious, Rachel.

Rachel Alba on September 23, 2018:

Hi Liz, I never heard of another name for them. I like leaning new things. Thanks for the information about the name of zucchini in the UK. Thanks for the visit and nice comment.

Blessings to you.

Liz Westwood from UK on September 23, 2018:

For a while, I was wondering what zucchini were. Then I realized that we call them courgettes in the UK. My friends who grow their own veg certainly have had an abundance of tomatoes and courgettes. I shall bear this recipe in mind for the future.

Rachel Alba on September 23, 2018:

Hi Louise, Louise is my mother's name and my middle name. It means a lot to me. Thank you for your lovely comment. I appreciate it.

Blessings to you.

Rachel Alba on September 23, 2018:

Hi Pat.

So nice to hear from you. I hope things are going well with your family. Thank you for visiting and your great comment. If you're worried about carbs you can put less pasta on your dish and fill it up with the sauce.

Blessings to you.

Rachel Alba on September 23, 2018:

Hi Christina. We all learn from trial and error. I'm glad to hear that you are making your own sauce. Did you know that you can make it double and freeze half for another time? It freezes well. Thank you for your encouraging comment.

Blessings to you.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on September 22, 2018:

Oh yum, that sounds lovely. I must try this.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on September 22, 2018:

Yes please pass me a plate FULL I will have all of my carbs for the week enjoying this dish.. I can almost smell this cooking thank you for sharing Angels are on the way to you this afternoon ps

Cristina Vanthul from Florida on September 22, 2018:

Looks delicious! First time I made my own tomato sauce, I didn't realize it needed sugar. Hahaha! That was some bitter sauce. Now, I mostly only make my own rather than buying the jarred or canned kinds. It tastes so much more fresh.

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