Zucchini and summer squash are so abundant in the summer months. This simple pasta is like a lighter, brighter fettuccine alfredo. It also comes together in no time—the veggies will be ready by the time your pasta is cooked. You’ll love it, I promise. Feeds three.
1⁄2 lb fettuccine
4 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1⁄2 tsp chili flakes
2 small zucchini, finely diced
1 lemon, zested
1⁄4 cup cream
1⁄2 cup Romano or Parmesan, grated
salt and pepper
fresh basil, finely chopped (optional)
Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Salt the water liberally. This is how pasta gets salted, so don’t be shy! Most won’t end up in the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. I prefer my pasta with some bite, so I drain the pasta just before it’s finished so it doesn’t get mushy when I add it to the vegetable pan to cook slightly more. Meanwhile, melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and chili flakes. Let them sizzle for 30 seconds to a minute, then add the zucchini. Stir the vegetables to coat them. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally until some of the water has cooked off and the veggies are tender when stabbed with a fork. Young summer zucchini doesn’t need much cooking. Add the lemon zest. Stir! Drain the cooked fettuccine and add it to the zucchini pan along with the rest of the butter, the cream, and most of the Romano cheese. Toss the fettuccine around the pan to get everything mixed. Add salt to taste and lots of freshly ground pepper. Top with a bit more cheese and serve immediately.