The humble courgette, known as zucchine in Italian dialect, from the root word ‘zucca’ (meaning squash), is a versatile hero of Italian cuisine, appearing in soups, frittatas, side dishes and of course, pasta. Roughly translating to ‘little squash’, the vegetable was first developed in the early 19th century, not far from Milan, in the north of il bel paese. Courgettes are often enjoyed during warm Italian summers, as the fresh tasting vegetable is both creamy and light, making it perfect for a variety of pasta sauces - namely, this zesty courgette and lemon sauce. In this vegetarian summer recipe, we blend fresh courgettes with lemon, cream, and a hint of warming chilli. Paired with long ribbons of fresh pappardelle, this vegetarian sauce is best consumed al fresco, with a refreshing summer aperitivo in hand.
Pappardelle With Creamy Courgette & Lemon Sauce
Prep time: 60 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Calories per serving: 479kcal
- 400g Fresh pappardelle - for ingredients, see this simple pappardelle recipe
- 2 large courgettes, finely chopped
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 250ml heavy cream
- 75g unsalted butter
- ½ chilli, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare your fresh pappardelle, following our simple pappardelle guide, or the below tutorial:
- Once your pasta is prepared, take a large pan and set it over medium heat. Add the unsalted butter, and gently heat until fully melted, and beginning to foam. Then, add the lemon juice and zest, and continue to cook until fragrant - allow enough time here for the zest to infuse, rendering a deliciously lemony butter.
- Add the courgette to the lemon butter, and cook until soft and slightly translucent, being careful not to overcook the vegetable. Add the finely chopped chilli and fry for a further minute or so.
- Add the cream to the mixture and stir until well combined. Taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper.
- Heat a pot of generously salted water until boiling, before adding your fresh pappardelle. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until al dente. Once cooked, strain the pasta, ensuring to reserve a little bit of the starchy cooking water.
- Add the pasta to the pan with the sauce, and gently toss to combine. Add as much or as little pasta water as is needed to achieve a luscious sauce, that clings to every strand of the pappardelle.
- Once fully coated and glossy, plate your pasta, and garnish with a healthy dose of vegetarian hard cheese. Buon Appetito.
For a similarly summery spin on this recipe, why not replace the chilli with some finely chopped fresh mint? Lemon and mint are a classic combination, and we really love the herb with fresh courgette - as evidenced by our fan-favourite courgette and mint pesto.
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