This zucchini goat cheese pasta is a love letter to summer produce. It’s inspired by Jennie Cook’s recipe for zucchini butter and couldn’t be simpler to make or enjoy.
3 T extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 lbs zucchini (about 3 medium), grated on the largest holes of box grater
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 lb dried pasta, short shapes are best
4 ounces soft goat cheese, like chevre
1/2 C chopped parsley (or other tender herb)
Zest and juice of one lemon
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add the zucchini and salt. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan (lowering the heat if it does). Until most of the liquid that the zucchini leaches out has been evaporated and the zucchini takes on a jammy consistency. Set aside.
Boil the pasta in a large pot of heavily salted water until just al dente. Reserve about a cup of the water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the pan with zucchini butter and toss with half of the reserved pasta cooking liquid over medium heat. Add the goat cheese, parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Stir to combine, adding more pasta water if necessary.
Sauteing a few cloves of garlic, a handful of finely chopped onion, or a pinch of chili flakes in the oil before you add the zucchini is a great way to add nuance to this recipe. Not necessary, but so good.
Scrub your zucchini well before grating it, there can be a lot of grit on the outside skin.
Make a double batch of the zucchini butter and save the rest in a covered container in the fridge for up to a week.
This can also be made with yellow squash
Keywords: vegetarian pasta, zucchini butter, meatless meals, five ingredient recipe, simple dinner