Recipe: Pasta with Zucchini, Tomatoes and Pesto   

Recipe: Pasta with Zucchini, Tomatoes and Pesto

a pasta dish with garden vegetables and pesto

September 29, 2022

No single food can protect you against cancer alone, but research shows that a diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and other plant foods helps lower the risk of many cancers. 

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men worldwide. The good news is that your diet may have the power to reduce your risk for prostate cancer. Evidence suggests that you may be able to prevent or slow the progression by emphasizing a diet:
  • low in saturated fats and simple sugars
  • high in fiber
  • high in fruits and vegetables 

Additionally, there are some foods to avoid to promote a healthy prostate: 

  • red and processed meat
  • high fat dairy
  • alcohol 
  • saturated fat 

Here is a recipe featuring a pasta dish with garden vegetables and pesto. It is delicious and a good illustration of a flavorful plant based dinner. 

Tomatoes and pasta are a perfect traditional pairing. 

  • The deep red color of tomatoes indicates lycopene, the plant compound linked with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity. 
  • Lycopene is found in foods like pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, tomato juice and tomato paste. Including these plant foods in your diet is linked with prostate cancer protection. 


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 4 cups of zucchini cubed in bite sized pieces 
  • 2 garlic cloves minced 
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • ½ cup chopped olives, drained
  • ½ pound spaghetti, or other pasta of your choice 
  • ½ cup prepared basil pesto 
  • ½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese 


  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes. 
  2. Add zucchini and garlic and saute until zucchini is just tender, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add tomatoes with juices, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Simmer until most of the liquid evaporates, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in black olives. 
  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving some pasta liquid to use if needed to help form sauce. Return pasta to pot. 
  5. Add pesto to pasta and toss to coat. Add zucchini mix and stir over low heat to combine. Add pasta water to thin if necessary.  Sprinkle with basil. Serve with parmesan cheese. 

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The material provided through HealthU is intended to be used as general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your physician for individual care.



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