creamy lemon zucchini pasta

Memory of a delicious lemon sauced pasta for lunch a long time ago in a back street of Capri combined with our never ending search for new ways to incorporate zucchini into our cuisine led to an immediate interest in a random sponsored food posting on bob's Facebook timeline: pasta cremosa zucchine e limone. It was in Italian, but bob is lazy so a right click English translation proved useful, though not an exact translation: creamy zuccini and lemon pasta (this veggie changes sex upon translation, a sort of transgender produce item). The original recipe suggests Philadelphia cream cheese (yes, sold in every supermarket in Italy) but mascarpone is more authentic, and suggests sauteeing the spiralized zucchini but we are in the habit of tossing it in with the boiling pasta, which makes the dish simpler to execute. Ani is already in the habit of making a mascarpone and pasta water based sauce for ravioli, this just expands the lineup to include lemon juice, and we threw in the zst for good measure. And how can you eat this kind of pasta without parmigiano, also added in our modifications.

Spiralized zucchini is not a familiar concept to Italians, in fact it is only recently a food fad here in the states. We even have a spiralizer attachment for our KitchenAid stand mixer, but again laziness dictates that it is easier to grab it from the supermarket already processed for use. We did so.

Long pasta matches the zucchini strips, which when arranged in a twisted mound looks like a pretty professional chef touch, which we neglected to achieve, globbed onto our plates in no particularly organized fashion.

This made 8 servings, 7 guests and one left over portion. Left over nly because there was still fresh heirloom tomato and onion salad, and beets with goat cheese on the menu, followed later by fruit salad of peaches, strawberries, blueberries and crema di limoncello with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.


1.5 lbs long pasta (we used linguine, called tagiolini in Rome)
1.5 lbs spiralized zucchini (listarelli, or "strips" is as close as they get)
1/3 -1/2 c (4 oz) mascarpone
juice of 1 lemon, plus the zest (hint: get the zest first)
1 1/2 T butter
1/2 c roughly pasta water, plus as needed
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 c grated parmigiano. 


  1. Zest and juice the lemon. Set aside.
  2. Start the pasta water boiling and salt when it reaches the boiling state. Throw in the pasta and bring to a boil again.
  3. Meanwhile put the mascarpone in a nonstick saucepan with a bit of the boiled salted pasta water. Stir around to a uniform mixture on low heat. Stir in the zest, grind in some fresh black pepper. Add in the lemon juice, stirring it in until incorporated uniformly.
  4. A few minutes after the pasta is boiling, throw in the zucchini strips and cook until the pasta is al dente.
  5. Drain reserving a cup of the pasta water and toss with the cream sauce and the butter sliced in thin strips over low heat, adding a bit more pasta water if it seems needed. Remove from the heat.
  6. Mix in the parmigiana and the rest of the butter in thin slices to melt quicker.
  7. Taste for salt.


  1. Simple ravioli sauce, frequently used in spite of the rich mascarpone ingredient.
  2. Zucchini pesto pasta [version 1, version 2], one of our most repeated recipes, works with all pasta shapes.
  3. Fidelity House pasta cremosa zucchine e limone, the origin of the present makeover
  4. Illustrations available.
lemonzucchinipasta.htm: 30-jul-2017 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]