A little crumbled feta dusted on top of a rich lemony zucchini pasta sauce can do wonders, especially when you prepared a full meal in 20 minutes and the results are this delicious. Packed with color and flavors, this pasta recipe is perfect for spring and summer meals, be it a lunch box or a family dinner. Enjoy!
There are so many ways to use zucchini, an absolutely glorious vegetable; you can grill it, panfry it, boil it, eat it raw, bake it... you name it, it will most probably work.
As it can be eaten raw or cooked, it should come as no surprise that this whole meal can be ready in about 20 minutes. The sweetness of the zucchini is contrasted by the tanginess of the lemon and the saltiness of the feta cheese, creating a perfect balance, ideal for when you want to eat something tasty, but don't have too much time, and want to enjoy a pasta sauce that doesn't necessarily use tomato sauce or cream.
Ingredients Zucchini Sauce with Lemon and Feta
- Fresh Zucchini: Essential for zucchini sauce, make sure you choose firm ones with smooth skin. Before using them, wash them under cold water and just remove the top and bottom.
- Pasta: Chose your preferred shape! I used papardelline, which is a short version of the more famous pappardelle, however, shells, penne, fusilli, tortiglioni, and any other shape that can cling on to the vegetables and cheese will work.
- Feta Cheese: This salty cheese offers the perfect contrast to the sweetness of the zucchini and the tanginess of the lemon, but it can be replaced with goats cheese, smoked ricotta, or Parmesan cheese if preferred.
- Lemon: A few slices or a few teaspoons of its juice are plenty for this recipe.
- Salt, Black Pepper, Oil: Italian cooking essentials.
How to make zucchini pasta sauce?
- To start, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil to cook your pasta following the package's instructions.
- To prepare the lemon zucchini sauce, wash and chop the fresh zucchini into bite-sized chunks; in order to allow the pieces to mix well with the pasta, it is best to chop the zucchini about the same size or smaller than the pasta.
- Warm-up a pan with the olive oil on medium and once warm add the zucchini; cook the zucchini for about 8-10 minutes or until they are cooked, but still maintain a bite, then dress them with half the lemon juice.
- Now the base for this simple lemon zucchini pasta sauce is ready, add the cooked pasta to it and season it with some salt and pepper and the remaining lemon juice; mix the pasta with the zucchini sauce and sprinkle the crumbled feta cheese on it just before serving. Enjoy!
People Also Ask [FAQs]
To turn this recipe into a pasta salad, simply follow it as it is, but add an extra teaspoon of oil to the pasta, and do not add the crumbled feta cheese until the pasta has cooled off completely.
To add volume, you can add some other vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, corn, pitted olives, or grilled peppers to the mix. Should you prefer, you can add chopped grilled chicken to the pasta sauce instead of feta.
The basic zucchini sauce for this pasta can be reheated in the microwave, however, in a pan will give the best results.
If you are cooking fresh pasta to add to the premade sauce, add a tablespoon or two of pasta cooking water to the zucchini and warm-up on medium heat until piping hot.
If the whole meal is ready and needs reheating, put the pasta in a pan with a spoon of water and mix it well, then put a lid on the pan; warm up the zucchini pasta on a low-medium flame, so that the steam from the evaporating water heats up the pasta. This should take 4-5 minutes, but ensure you keep stirring occasionally so as to ensure it doesn't dry up or stick to the bottom of the pan.
Tips and Tricks for Feta, Lemon Zucchini Pasta Sauce
- Cooking Pasta: Make sure the pasta is cooked al dente, as this will allow you to sautee it with the zucchini sauce and not overcook it.
- Cheese: If you don't like or have feta cheese, you can substitute it with another salty cheese option, such as parmesan, smoked ricotta, or goat's cheese. Creamier, sweeter cheese options are not ideal to pair with zucchini, which are already sweet, and lemon juice.
- Fresh Basil: To top off the dish, when in season, I would recommend sprinkling some fresh basil leaves on top of the pasta with zucchini for a real summer feel.
You will love this lemon zucchini pasta sauce recipe with crumbled feta cheese!
A perfectly healthy and filling meal, ideal for when you don't have much time but want a delicious treat nevertheless!
Have a look at these other delicious quick recipes:
Yummy Lemon Zucchini Pasta Sauce with Feta
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 medium Zucchini
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 60 g Short Pasta I used Pappardelline
- 50 g Feta Cheese
- Salt and Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
- Put a large pan of water on the stove to boil; once it boils, salt it and cook your pasta in it following instructions on the package regarding the time.
- Meanwhile, wash your zucchini, remove the top and bottom and chop them in bite-sized chunks; try to keep the zucchini bite size, avoiding pieces bigger than the pasta, as you want the lemon zucchini pasta sauce to mix well with the pasta.
- In a frying pan, add the olive oil and warm up. Once this is warm, add the zucchini to the pan and mix well.
- Allow the zucchini to golden on a medium-low flame, and after 8-10 minutes they will be ready.
- Once the zucchini are ready, dress them with half the lemon juice.
- Once the pasta is ready and the zucchini are cooked (they can have a bit of a bite to them), drain the pasta from the water and add it to the pan with the zucchini. Dress it with the lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Just before serving, add the crumbled feta, mix well and serve. Enjoy!