Zucchini Butter Pasta
Why we love it:
- 21⁄2 Tablespoons Kosher Salt (divided)
- 1 pound Spaghetti
- 11⁄4 pounds Zucchini
- 1 Shallot
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1 Lemon (zest and juice, divided)
- 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (more or less to taste)
- 11⁄2 cups Parmesan Cheese (from a block, freshly grated, divided)
1. BRING A PASTA POT OF WATER TO A BOIL
Add salt to make it taste like the sea, about 2 Tablespoons. Cook pasta one minute less than it says on the package directions for al dente. Before draining, scoop out and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Do not rinse the pasta when you drain it.
Meanwhile, grate the zucchini with the large holes of a box grater. Or you can slice them in half, then into half-moon rounds but try and make the slices very thin. Slice the shallot into a very small dice and mince the garlic. Zest the lemon and set it aside. Juice the lemon.
Back in the pasta pot, or in a sauté pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the zucchini, garlic, shallot, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, ½ of the lemon zest and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes.
Add the pasta and turn up to medium-high. Add ½ a cup of the pasta cooking water and let it rapidly simmer while you use tongs to toss the pasta continuously. When it’s nearly evaporated, stir the remaining ½ cup pasta water together with 1 cup of the grated parmesan cheese; add it in. Simmer and toss the pasta for another 2 minutes.
Serve the pasta with the pan sauce in large bowls. Top evenly with the remaining parmesan and a pinch of lemon zest, perhaps with another pinch of red pepper flakes to taste.