Pasta with crema di zucchine & lemon zest

(serves 2 | 30 minutes | easy)

I love vegetables and I love transforming everything into a smooth, flavorful cream/sauce that can be combined into pasta or risotto – or simply eaten with bread! This super easy zucchini cream takes 15 minutes to make and tastes so delicious and light – especially when topped with a generous shaving of lemon zest!

2 medium zucchini – a handful of grated pecorino cheese – 180g long pasta (fresh tagliolini, spaghetti, etc) – extra virgin olive oil – 1 garlic clove – zest of ½ a lemon

  1. Wash the zucchini and slice them into disks, roughly 3mm thick. Squash the garlic, place it in a large, non-stick pan with two tablespoons of olive oil and let it soften and brown over a low flame. 
  2. Add the zucchini slices and saute for a few minutes, then cover with a lid and cook until soft (takes anytime between 10 and 15 minutes). Once cooked through, remove them from the pan and place them into a blender cup or bowl. Add half of the pecorino and a few tablespoons of olive oil if the zucchini aren’t already too oily. Blend until smooth, taste, add more pecorino or olive oil if necessary, and place to one side. 
  3. Bring a pot of water to boil, add a handful of rock salt and throw in the pasta. Cook according to packet instructions. 
  4. Pour the zucchini cream back into the pan, turn the flame on to low and add a ladle of the pasta’s cooking water to dilute it.
  5.  Drain the pasta two minutes before it is ready (or when it is still too al dente), reserve a mug full of its cooking water and drop the pasta in the pan with the zucchini cream. Turn the flame onto high and add the cooking water gradually, all the while mixing vigorously, until the pasta reaches your desired consistency. 
  6. Plate the pasta and top with a sprinkle of lemon zest and, optionally, some more pecorino.