20-minute Lemon Pasta with Spicy Morsels

Serves 4. This is a lovely recipe based on one from Half Baked Harvest and harkens back to one I did a while ago using Margot's Morsels for this Gremolata technique on pasta.
  • 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon drained capers
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 pound angel hair pasta
  • 6 tablespoons cold salted butter
  • 1 lemon, sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 cup fresh basil, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 zucchini or yellow summer squash, very thinly sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese, whipped, if desired. Or, use the equivalent creamy, fresh Burrata cheese.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the capers, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until the capers are fried and pepper flakes have released their fragrance, about 2-3 minutes. Add this mixture to the morsels and set aside while preparing the rest of the dish.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente.

While pasta is cooking, set your skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons butter and lemon slices. Sear until the lemon is caramelized to a lovely color, 1-2 minutes per side. Remove the lemon from the skillet and chop the lemon slices finely, then mix with the basil.

To the skillet, add the remaining butter, zucchini, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until the zucchini is golden, 5 minutes, depending on thickness of your slices. Watch the garlic closely. Remove from the heat, stir in the pasta and 1/2 of the lemon/basil.

Spread the ricotta into bowls. Add the pasta. Top with breadcrumbs and remaining lemon/basil and garnish with fresh basil. Twirl the pasta up with the cheese.

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