Chef Alison Mountford from Ends and Stems

Zucchini Butter Pasta




1 shallot or red onion

4-6 cloves garlic

½ cup olive oil

2.5 Tablespoons kosher salt (divided)

1/2 pound spaghetti

1-1.5 pound zucchini

1 lemon (zest and juice)

6 Tablespoon unsalted butter

.5 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1.5 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (or pecorino)

1 cup basil leaves


  1. Slice the shallot into thin rings, peel garlic. Bring to a simmer in olive oil, maintain for about 20 minutes until they’re very soft and browned. Turn off heat and let cool.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta one minute less than it says on the package directions for al dente. Before draining, scoop out and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Do not rinse the pasta when you drain it.
  • Meanwhile, grate the zucchini with the large holes of a box grater. Melt half of the butter over medium heat with a tablespoon of garlic oil. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, until tender and browned in spots.
  • Add the pasta and turn up to medium-high. Add ½ a cup of the pasta cooking water, zest and juice of the lemon and let it rapidly simmer while you use tongs to toss the pasta continuously. When it’s nearly evaporated, stir the remaining ½ cup pasta water together with 1 cup of the grated parmesan cheese; add it in. Simmer and toss the pasta for another 2 minutes. Add the remaining 3 Tablespoons of cubed butter. Season with salt, pepper, pepper flakes.
  • Garnish with basil and more cheese to taste. Serve immediately.

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