Zucchini Ribbon Pasta with Creamy Lemon-Basil Sauce

About two months ago I bought one of those starter kits at Target, found in the dollar spot. And after much patience I finally used it for the first time in this recipe. It needs to grow faster because I want to use it all the time! Thankfully my parents have a bunch in their garden so I can avoid hacking mine down to much. It’s still just a little thing.

Thanks in part to my homegrown basil, this zucchini ribbon pasta is a great summer dish. It is light, fresh and full of vegetables. I even used tomatoes from my parents garden. I am really going to miss having access to a garden once my time in Knoxville comes to an end.


ZUCCHINI RIBBON PASTA WITH CREAMY LEMON-BASIL SAUCE

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1/2 lb (or 8 oz) fettuccine

1 medium zucchini

2 tsp olive oil, divided

10 oz. grape tomatoes (about 2 cups)

Salt and pepper

3-4 cloves finely minced garlic

1 cup low sodium vegetable broth (or chicken)

3 oz. reduced fat cream cheese

1 cup very loosely packed basil, chopped

1 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, more if desired

Directions:

  1. Prepare a pot of water and cook pasta according to package instructions.  Cut ends off zucchini and slice along the long direction, cutting the zucchini into about ⅛ inch slices.  Cut each of those slices into long pieces, about the same size as the fettuccine. When pasta is just about done, add zucchini strips to pot (so they’re cooking with the pasta).  Boil for about 2 minutes, or until tender.  Drain zucchini and pasta, set aside.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat a medium size skillet to medium heat.  When hot, add 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Add tomatoes and give them a little sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes. Just until they start to burst and look blistered.  Remove tomatoes from pan and place in a small dish, covered, and set aside.
  3. Add another 1 teaspoon olive oil to the empty pan and add garlic.  Stir constantly on medium-low heat for about 30-60 seconds.  Add chicken broth.  Bring to a simmer and use a spatula to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.  Simmer for 1-2 minutes and then reduce heat to low.
  4. Place cream cheese in a microwave-safe bowl and soften for 20-30 seconds, until it can be easily stirred smooth.  Ladle in a couple spoonfuls of the chicken broth mixture into the cream cheese and stir to combine.  Once the mixture is smooth, add it to the pan with the remaining broth mixture and whisk until smooth and creamy. Add chopped basil and lemon juice and stir to combine.  Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Combine pasta and zucchini with sauce.  Gently toss in tomatoes, or simply add them on top of each serving. Garnish with additional basil if desired.

Source: Adapted slightly from Our Best Bites.

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