An easy recipe for lemon pasta with fried zucchini to use these summer products. It is excellent as a meatless main course or as a zucchini pasta salad.
- 8 ounces, weight Penne, Farfalle, Or Other Short Pasta
- ⅓ cups Extra virgin olive oil
- 4 Baby zucchini, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon Red pepper flakes
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- ½ cups Finely grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- ½ cups Fresh basil or mint, torn or thinly sliced
- Freshly cracked black pepper
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta 1 minute less than package instructions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet (preferably high-sided) over high heat until the oil shimmers and seems slightly thinned. Add half of the zucchini and sauté until golden brown, 3-4 minutes on each side. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer the fried zucchini to a plate lined with paper towel and season with salt. Repeat with the remaining zucchini.
Turn off the heat and add the garlic to the now empty pan, swirling the pan to make sure the garlic doesn’t burn. Reduce heat to low and cook garlic until tender and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add red pepper flakes, lemon juice and zest, Parmesan cheese and ½ cup cooking water. Bring to a boil and whisk the mixture until well blended.
Add the pasta to the pan with the lemon sauce and toss, stirring constantly for about 1-2 minutes, until the pasta is al dente and the sauce sticks to the pasta. Add more cooking water if the sauce seems dry. Stir in fried zucchini and basil. Taste and add more salt if needed.
To serve, top each serving with more Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked black pepper.