zucchini lemon pasta

There are a few food blogs that I check pretty regularly, but hands down my favorite is Smitten Kitchen.  When I saw this recipe of hers there was no question about whether I was going to make it, it was when.  You see, I love any quick simple pasta that involves lemon.   Oh, and there’s cheese!

When I had already picked up the zucchini for this recipe, my sister sent me a different but similar zucchini pasta recipe.  When I responded that we were once again on the same wavelength, she wrote back that she had seen this recipe and wasn’t going to  make it because she didn’t have a mandoline.  Oh.  Oops, I missed that part.  But it wasn’t going to stop me! I had a fleeting thought that I could just cutting them thicker, but scoffed at the idea. I would do it by hand!  So I painstakingly cut the first zucchini into teeny tiny slivers.  Then Joseph came along and finished the next two double time with his master cutting skills.

I guess I didn’t really read through the directions at all beforehand, so was also a bit surprised to see the 20 minute sitting time for the zucchinis.  Whoops again. Oh well, it was so worth it.  Especially since we’d gotten this amazing pecorino romano from the wine and cheese shop down the street. The texture of the thinly sliced zucchinis is really nice, I love the crunch and nuttiness from the almonds, and the lemon is so light and refreshing.

Lemon Zucchini Pasta
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 pounds zucchini (2 to 3, depending on size), halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 ounces pecorino romano cheese, thinly sliced with a peeler
1/2 cup slivered almonds, well-toasted and cooled
1/2 pound whole wheat pasta such as penne or fusilli, cooked, drained and cooled
5 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup thinly slivered basil
1 tablespoon minced shallot
Juice of one lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

Stir the zucchini with one teaspoon of salt in a large colander and let it sit for 20 minutes to drain the excess zucchini liquid. Give them a taste and if they come across as salty, rinse them and drain again.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, and shallots and season with salt and pepper.  Toss the lemon dressing with the pasta, zucchini, almonds, pecorino romano, and basil.  Serve warm or cool depending on what you’re in the mood for.


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