Low-FODMAP – Keto – Paleo – Lactose Free – Gluten Free

I’m an avid gardener. My love of gardening was passed down to me from my grandmother and mother. When I was a little girl, I adored visiting my grandparents in the Central Valley. They lived on an acre of land, grew most all their vegetables, and canned them too! By 6 years old, my grandmother had me destringing the green beans, trellising the tomatoes, and harvesting everything they grew. Living in the city, we could only have a small garden, but that small garden gave us fresh tomatoes every summer. There’s no comparison to the fresh taste of home grown vegetables; plus they are higher in nutrition than store bought. Gardening isn’t just healthy for the body, but for the spirit.

Usually, I make this recipe with only tomatoes and basil, but being late May, you can see the tomatoes haven’t come in yet. My dog, Prudence, is patiently waiting. They are her favorite garden treats (well, after blueberries but alas, we have no blueberry bushes). In the summer, she loves to eat cherry tomatoes fresh off the vine. One for me, two for Prudence… another two for Prudence and so on.

Unlike our tomato plant at the moment, the zucchini plant is big and covered with little baby zucchini. Prudence skeptically sniffs at the zucchini knowing full well that she really doesn’t care for it and wonders why I didn’t plant more tomatoes there instead! Luckily that means more zucchini for me! I really prefer baby zucchini over mature zucchini – the taste is milder and lacks the bitterness of a mature zucchini. Since zucchini plants always give more than I can ever eat anyway, it’s just one more argument for picking early!


INGREDIENTS for 4-6 servings (see below for modifications):

-4 cups of cooked pasta (any kind of pasta; -gluten free, bean, corn, wheat, spaghetti, spiral rotini…)
-8 baby zucchini or 3 regular sized zucchinis, chopped
-½ cup of pine nuts
-4 large handfuls of basil, chopped
-4 cooked sweet Italian sausages; vegetarian, chicken, or pork (I use pre-cooked chicken sausages)
-4 tsp of lemon juice
-½ cup of olive oil
-3 tbsp butter
-16 green olives, chopped (optional)
-1/2 cup parmesan (optional)
– 3 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)


In a large saucepan, melt 3 tbsp of butter over medium to medium high heat. Then add the zucchini and sauté until a light golden brown. Add the cooked sausage stirring for about two minutes. Add the pine nuts and continue stirring for about a minute. Turn off the heat and add the pasta, basil, lemon juice, and olives stirring to mix (should take less than a minute for the basil to wilt slightly-don’t overcook or the basil loses its flavor). Take off the burner. It’s cooked!

Add the olive oil when off the burner. Olive oil denatures under high heat and is much healthier when not heated excessively.

Add a little parmesan if you like and can tolerate dairy.

*For those of you have heard about the health risks associated with eating processed meats, those studies have used non-natural, non-organic processed meats. Preservatives and additives that are added to processed meat products are associated with cancer. I recommend always using natural and if possible, organic. Another option is to use ground meat and add Italian seasoning.

*It’s heavy on the fats so omit the pasta to make it keto.

*Omit the butter, parmesan, and pasta to make it paleo.

*Make it LOW FODMAP by using gluten free pasta only.