Creamy zucchini and lemon pasta is delicious and on your plate in 15 minutes. Another easy dinner bowl, check!
Zucchini and lemon pasta is a weeknight dinner that is so simple it requires no cheffy skills It’s part of my series of weeknight pasta recipes that come together in the time it takes the pasta to cook. Swap out the specifics according to what’s in season, or what’s in your crisper drawer. I love the satisfying chew of the pasta, the silkiness of the wide zucchini ribbons, and the creamy sauce with that burst of lemon.
If you’re somebody who doesn’t consider a bowl of pasta to be dinner (one of you lives in my house) this will enlighten you.
love zucchini too?
ingredients for zucchini and lemon pasta
You’ve already got most of it in the name of the recipe, with just a few pantry staples to boost the flavor of this easy weeknight dinner bowl.
- I went for a chewy rigatoni, a type of short tube pasta with ridges on the outside. The ridges trap and hold the creamy lemon sauce.
- pine nuts
- definitely toast them if you have time.
- that’s Parmesan with a capital ‘P’ ~ splurge on the good stuff.
- salt and pepper
how it comes together in 15
The hardest thing about making zucchini and lemon pasta? It’s waiting for the water to boil! The rest happens fast.
- Put the pasta water on to boil.
- Slice zucchini into ribbons.
- Cook the pasta until al dente
- Heat cream, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a large skillet.
- Scoop the pasta into the sauce.
- Add the zucchini ribbons to the boiling pasta water for a few seconds. Then add to sauce.
- Toss everything with Parmesan and serve!
variations on a lemony zucchini pasta theme
You can slice the zucchini into rounds or batons instead of ribbons.
Use yellow or golden zucchini instead of green. Or mix the two.
Pesto can be added to the sauce at the last minute to boost the basil flavor.
Throw in some: a. sun dried tomatoes, b. quartered cherry tomatoes, c. quartered artichoke hearts, d. frozen peas, e. mini mozzarella balls.
love zucchini and lemon pasta? Here’s more!
- Pesto Pasta with Blistered Tomatoes
- Farfalle with Salmon, Lemon, and Peas
- Meatball Macaroni and Cheese
- Pasta Primavera
- One Pot Pasta Puttanesca
Zucchini and Lemon Pasta
- 1/2 lb pasta, I use rigatoni, which is a short tube pasta with ridges that hold the creamy sauce well.
- 1 medium-large zucchini, cut into thin ribbons with a Y shaped vegetable peeler or a mandoline.
- 1/2 cup cream**
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp each, salt and fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- several leaves of fresh basil, cut in ribbons
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts*
- more grated Parmesan
- Boil the pasta in plenty of well salted water until al dente.
- Put the cream, lemon juice and garlic in a Dutch oven or skillet large enough to hold the pasta and heat until it simmers. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Turn the heat way down and keep warm.
- When the pasta is done scoop it out and add to the pan with the cream sauce. Add the zucchini ribbons to the boiling pasta water and stir to separate the zucchini. Cook for a few seconds, just until the zucchini starts to become supple. Scoop it out and add to the pan as well.
- Toss everything with the grated cheese and basil, and add a splash of pasta water if it seems too dry.
- Serve immediately topped with toasted pine nuts and more cheese.