Spaghetti With Zucchini, Lemon, and Basil

Spaghetti with zucchini, lemon, and basil combines some of the summer veg you most often have on hand. A simple recipe with bright flavor and layers of texture that make the most of your farmer’s market haul.

A skillet filled with spaghetti with zucchini, lemon, and basil, with a fork resting in it and a bowl of Parmesan on the side.

Adapted from Signe Johansen | Solo | Bluebird, 2018

I firmly believe there is no shame in taking shortcuts now and then, and make sure you sit down and eat a meal rather than always rushing around. Savouring your food is as important to a solo cook and eater as it is to a family, or when you’re cooking for a crowd. And good cooks always keep a few staples handy for quick meals like this one–we don’t go out and buy new ingredients every day!Signe Johansen

Spaghetti With Zucchini, Lemon, and Basil

A skillet filled with spaghetti with zucchini, lemon, and basil, with a fork resting in it and a bowl of Parmesan on the side.

Here’s a quick, lemony vegetarian pasta dish that can easily be adapted to other greens: try it with asparagus, broccoli or broad beans when you tire of zucchini.

Signe Johansen

Prep 15 mins

Cook 15 mins

Total 30 mins

  • Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water and drain the pasta.
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-low heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil, add the shallot and cook until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chile flakes and cook for 1 minute more.
  • Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and cook just long enough for the zucchini to soften and absorb some of the flavor from the garlic, shallot, and chile, 4 to 7 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat, add the basil leaves and allow the basil to wilt slightly before adding the lemon zest and juice.

  • Add the pasta to the skillet. Stir, adding a little pasta water, if necessary to loosen the sauce.

  • Serve hot, with plenty of grated Parmesan and pine nuts scattered on top.

*What’s the best way to zest a lemon?

Some people have big opinions on this—on this very site, you might not be surprised to learn (here, for example). But what our fearless leader says is true—most of us are using our zesters wrong. The problem is that we’re holding the zester upside down. That’s right…You should be holding the lemon beneath the zester and the zester above it, with the channel facing up (grates facing down). That way, you’re not continually having to check to how much zest you’ve removed and where. Use your lower hand to rotate the lemon as you zest to your heart’s desire.

Serving: 1portionCalories: 411kcal (21%)Carbohydrates: 47g (16%)Protein: 10g (20%)Fat: 22g (34%)Saturated Fat: 3g (19%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12gSodium: 14mg (1%)Potassium: 514mg (15%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 6g (7%)Vitamin A: 206IU (4%)Vitamin C: 34mg (41%)Calcium: 43mg (4%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

Orginally published June 28, 2021

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