Grated zucchini is steamed until soft along with fresh lemon and garlic. It’s tossed in spaghetti with fresh basil and topped with parmesan and toasted pine nuts. A simple summer meal.
It’s zucchini season! Which means more brainstorming of delicious ways to use this abundant garden vegetable. It’s so versatile and easy to add to meals. Zucchini is mild in taste and it makes a great sponge to absorb the stronger flavours of citrus, herbs and spices.
Today’s zucchini recipe makes a simple summer meal. This lemon and zucchini spaghetti is one you can whip up in 30 minutes or less.
First pine nuts are toasted in a dry pan, until lightly golden. Then the zucchini are grated.
In the same pan that was used for the pine nuts, a little garlic is gently toasted in olive oil. Once toasted, the zucchini is added in along with some salt. This salt draws the moisture out of the zucchini and it helps it steam and soften in the pan.
The zucchini is cooked for around 10 minutes until very soft. Now, fresh lemon zest and juice are added, along with a generous crack of black pepper. At this point, the zucchini can be tasted and any extra salt added as required.
Then toss it though some hot cooked spaghetti, along with butter, torn basil and a little reserved pasta water to help it combine.
To serve, top with toasted pine nuts, fresh torn basil and a grated parmesan cheese.
The pine nuts in this dish are important. Not only do they give great flavour, but also a little crunch which I think is an important touch. If you’ve got no pine nuts, or have an allergy, toasted sunflower or pumpkin seeds could be used instead.
Before you begin cooking the zucchini, place a saucepan pan over medium heat and let it warm up. Add in the pine nuts and let them toast for 15-20 seconds, then give the pan a shake to move them around. Keep them toasting for a further minute or so, shaking the pan as needed so they don’t burn.
Once the pine nuts are toasted, you can use the same pan to cook the zucchini.
Have you made this Lemon and Zucchini Spaghetti with Fresh Basil? Tag me and let me know! @home_grown_happinessnz
Simple Lemon and Zucchini Spaghetti with Fresh Basil
- 1/4 cup pinenuts
- 2-3 medium zucchini
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt Plus more to taste
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 large handful fresh basil leaves torn or shredded
- 2 Tbsp butter
- black pepper to taste
- 400 grams dried spaghetti
- fresh basil leaves torn or shredded
- parmesan cheese
- Place a saucepan pan over medium heat and let it warm up. Add in the pine nuts and let them toast for 15-20 seconds, then give the pan a shake to move them around. Keep them toasting for a further minute or so, shaking the pan as needed so they don't burn.Once toasted, tip them into a small bowl and set them aside.
- Grate the zucchini, and peel and crush the garlic.Bring a pot of water to the boil for the pasta. (Once the pasta water is boiling, add the dried spaghetti, a pinch of salt and cook until al dente or as according to the packet instructions.)
- Heat the same saucepan as used before over low-medium heat and add in the olive oil. Once the oil has heated, add in the garlic and let it toast for only a minute or so, until fragrant.
- Add in the grated zucchini and the salt and stir it together. Let this cook for around 10 minutes until the zucchini has released its juices and has softened down. Some of the liquid from the zucchini will evaporate, but don't let it dry out.
- Once the zucchini has cooked through, add in the lemon zest, lemon juice and black pepper and stir. Taste and season more if necessary.
- Once the pasta is cooked, reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta and add it back to the pot. Lower the heat to low. Add the butter, the cooked zucchini and the torn basil leaves to the pot and toss it all together with as much pasta water as needed to help it combine. Serve it hot, and top the toasted pinenuts, extra fresh basil and parmesan.