Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
In Italy, you’ll often come across pastas with briney and salty aspects from a lot of pantry ingredients like anchovy paste and capers. Those flavors always take me back to Italy! I used them in my lemon zucchini spaghetti, and brightened it up even more with lemon, fresh herbs, aromatic ingredients like garlic and shallots, fresh zucchini… and cheese! The flavors all come together to become this really delicious pasta with a lot of flavor interest, and something about it just reminds me of summer in Italy. This lemon zucchini spaghetti would be so delicious paired with some grilled seafood – and a glass of prosecco!
Love this recipe? Try Giada’s Lemon Spaghetti, too!
Lemon Zucchini Spaghetti
- 1 lemon thinly sliced and seeds removed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 shallots sliced
- 2 cloves garlic smashed and peeled
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt divided
- 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1/4 cup capers drained
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 small zucchini about 2 pounds total, halved and sliced 1/3 inch
- 1/2 pound spaghetti pasta
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup fresh dill
- 1/2 cup fresh basil roughly chopped or torn
- 1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season it generously with salt. Add the sliced lemons and blanch for 30 seconds. Using tongs, remove the lemons to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Dry well.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat another 30 seconds. Add the shallots and garlic to the pan and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes or until fragrant and beginning to brown slightly. Add the anchovy paste, capers, red pepper flakes and the blanched lemon slices. Cook for another 2 minutes stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to ‘dissolve” the anchovy paste and brown the lemons. Add the zucchini and remaining salt. Cook on medium high for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Parts of the zucchini should turn deep brown while some parts remain al dente.
- Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes less than package directions, about 8 minutes. Add 1/3cup pasta water to the zucchini pan and stir to deglaze. Use a pair of tongs to remove the pasta directly to the zucchini pan. Sprinkle the bare pasta with the parmesan cheese and toss well to coat the pasta with the zucchini sauce. Some of the zucchini should have gotten rather soft to help create a silky sauce. Add another 1/2 cup water if needed to maintain the sauce. Top the pasta with the herbs and feta cheese and serve.