The other night I made this again and used yellow summer squash instead of zucchini. I doubled the squash and, at the request of 10-year old Taylor, dropped a bit of the lemon zest. He felt the last batch was "too lemon-ey." Using yellow squash instead of green definitely lowered the eye appeal of the dish, but the results were pure nirvana. I had the rest for breakfast the next day. I like how quickly this recipe goes together, the fact that it uses up some of that ubiquitous yellow squash, and that it's easy to get my kids to eat it, since it's basically buttery noodles.
12 ounces spaghetti, spaghettini, or vermicelli
4 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons finely shredded lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 small or 1 medium (about 6 ounces) trimmed and shredded zucchini
Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste
Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente, or firm to the bite, 7 to 10 minutes; drain.
Meanwhile, press excess liquid from shredded zucchini. Melt butter in a skillet over low heat. Stir in zucchini. Heat, stirring, until the zucchini is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and juice; toss with the hot pasta. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and a little red pepper, if desired. Serve.
Adapted from “365 Ways to Cook Pasta” by Marie Simmons, Harper & Row, 1988