Picture it: Sicily, 1921. IYKYK. I bet you read that in Sophia’s voice! But actually, Picture it: a deliciously indulgent and silky sauce with just the right amount of acidity from the lemon to balance it all out. This satisfying lemony-cream sauce clings and hugs every single al dente noodle. Writing this while hungry was not my smartest move but I’ll go on. Just make it k?
I served this Zucchini Spaghetti Al Limone with Habanero & Kalamata Breadcrumbs and (WHOA!) I’m so glad I did! I used Habanero Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Stonehouse Olive Oil and Kalamata Sourdough Loaf from The Midwife and the Baker to create this freshly coined kitchen staple.
Are you curious how to make easy homemade breadcrumbs? Start by making my Homemade Croutons which is a simple and flexible recipe/template. After making this recipe, simply pulse desired amount of croutons in a food processor. Take care not to over-do it; a little bit of texture is a good thing!
Zucchini Pasta Al Limone
- 1 large pot
- 1 Dutch-oven
- 1 medium non-stick skillet
- 1 strainer
- 1 grater
- 1 zester
- 1 vegetable peeler
- 1 pair of tongs
- 12 oz bucatini or spaghetti
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 225 g zucchini thinly sliced into rounds
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter divided into 1 tbsp cubes
- 3 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano finely grated; about ¾ cup
- kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- Using a veggie peeler, remove two 2" long strips (top to bottom) of lemon zest. Slice zest lengthwise into very thin strips; set aside for serving. Finely grate the remaining zest directly into a large pot or Dutch oven. Cut lemon in half and set aside for later.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When water reaches a rolling boil, add 2 rounded tablespoons of salt, and stir; return to a roaring boil before adding pasta. Cook pasta as per package instructions until 1 minute shy of al dente; the pasta will finish cooking in the sauce.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, being careful not to brown the garlic, about 30 seconds. Add the zucchini rounds and cook for 2 minutes total, flipping once halfway through. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Add cream to the Dutch oven with lemon zest and cook on med-heat, whisking steadily, until liquid is just beginning to simmer, about 2 min. Reduce heat to med-low, then whisk in butter 1 tbsp at a time, until sauce is emulsified. Remove from heat.
- Just before the pasta is done, reserve 1 1/4 cups pasta water. Add 3/4 cup of pasta water to the sauce and return to med-heat. Transfer pasta and zucchini to sauce, and toss (using tongs) until noodles are coated. Add parmigiano reggiano a bit at a time while tossing, until cheese melts into the sauce. Cream sauces are NOTORIOUS for getting tight, so don’t be shy on adding pasta water 2 tbsp at a time to thin it out. Err on the saucier side of things with this one. TRUST.
- Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a ripe lemon; season with more salt, if needed.
- Serve with Freshly-ground black pepper and lemon zest strips. Add spicy homemade breadcrumbs to take it up a few notches!