Zucchini Fettuccine Alfredo

Summer = zucchini. There’s nothing better than fresh zucchini. Every year I buy a few plants from a local farm and grow as much zucchini as I can. This year has been my highest yield ever – something like 6 zucchini to date, which is actually rather pitiful. The bee population has dropped off dramatically in recent years, and it’s seriously affecting my zucchini plants. I end up self pollinating them (yup, it’s a thing), and if I forget to do it I end up with a ton of dead zucchini on the vine.

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But the zucchini that I do get is incredibly tasty, and well worth the effort. Since I had a few on hand, I decided to make a pasta dish. Some quick googling lead me to the Creamy Zucchini Fettuccine post on The Kitchn.

Quick pasta dishes are a great option when I’m busy, tired, and it’s hot out. The pasta provides a great base, and there are innumerable things you can add to it. I admit that it tends to be my default, and for a while I was making the same type of pasta dish over and over. When I first stopped eating meat, I ate pasta for nearly every meal. At the time, it was all I could think to make. And then I got really sick of it and stopped eating pasta for a while (like 3 months, but that’s a long time in my book). When I went back to pasta, I vowed to start making it more interesting. I had always equated interesting with difficult, which is rarely the case. This zucchini alfredo was quite interesting and tasty, and easy to make – hardest thing was chopping the veggies. Definitely a good beginner recipe, and something to keep in the arsenal.

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Slightly adapted from The Kitchn (I changed the name)
Level of difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • Salt, to taste
  • 8 ounces fettuccine or linguini (I used linguini as it was all I had)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I used two giant cloves)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes, to taste
  • 2 small zucchini, finely diced*
  • Zest of 1 lemon or 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano, Grana, or Parmesan cheese
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Sprinkling of finely chopped fresh basil, optional

Equipment

  • Pot
  • Pan (I used a cast iron)
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board

Steps

  1. Boil a pot of water over high heat, and then salt
  2. Add the pasta and cook until al dente
  3. While the pasta is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic & chile flakes. Stir and let it sizzle for about a minute
  4. Add the zucchini, stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini has lost some of it’s water and they are tender – about 5 minutes
  5. Add the lemon zest or juice and stir (I couldn’t find my zest, so I had to use lemon juice)
  6. Drain the pasta and add it to the pain with the remaining butter, cream, and the cheese. For the cheese, I used a mix of Grana and Parmesan. It was quite tasty – the Grana definitely had a buttery taste to it
  7. Using tongs or a pasta fork, toss the pasta around until coated. Add some freshly cracked pepper, taste, and add more salt if needed
  8. Serve, topping with more cheese if you are a fellow cheese fiend, and sprinkle some basil on (I left off the basil, as I was too lazy/hungry to walk outside and pull some off the plants)

There was enough for two dinner servings, with leftovers for lunch. We didn’t have big portions for dinner, because room had to be left for fudgesicles.

*Notes

  • For the zucchini, I just used one – the top one in the above photo. That’s actually half of a huge zucchini that I grew. The other half I had used previously in a different recipe
  • I didn’t finely dice the zucchini, just chopped it fairly small. I’m a terrible vegetable cutter.