Creamy Lemon Zucchini Mafalda Pasta combines tender mafalda pasta ribbons with sautéed zucchini in a luscious and creamy lemon sauce. The fresh zucchini offers a mild crunch while the cream sauce incorporates bright lemon zest and juice, creating a pasta dish that is balanced and comforting!
Why This Recipe Works
Lemon and zucchini are a summertime match made in heaven. When zucchini is growing like crazy, you have to have some go-to zucchini recipes at hand! This one is a creamy, lemony pasta dish that is so easy to make and absolutely delicious!
Using simple ingredients, you can make a homemade creamy lemon zucchini pasta that is perfect for a busy weeknight meal. I am currently obsessed with mafalda pasta, but you can use a variety of different pasta shapes with this sauce. Mafaldine pasta would also work great, which is the long version of this pasta.
This creamy lemon zucchini mafalda pasta uses minimal ingredients to make an incredible pasta dish. During the summertime, just up all of your garden fresh zucchini! Here's what you'll need:
- Mafalda Pasta: Mafalda pasta is my all time favorite pasta shape! It is a thick ribbon with curly edges that soak up that creamy sauce perfectly. I found this mafalda corta at Trader Joe's, but if you can't find it at the grocery store (sometimes it is hard to find!), then you can use any pasta you have on hand! Fettucini would be great here.
- Butter & Olive Oil: A combination of butter and olive oil are used to sauté the zucchini!
- Zucchini: I only used one zucchini, but I kind of regretted it. The zucchini shrinks more than you think, so maybe add two if you want a lot of zucchini!
- Garlic: Freshly minced garlic cloves add flavor and aroma!
- Thyme & Basil: I like to add some herbs for extra flavor. Dried thyme and basil work well here!
- Wine: I added just a little bit of white wine for depth of flavor. This is totally optional though!
- Heavy Cream: Heavy cream is the base of the cream sauce. You can also use half and half, but don't use milk! It doesn't have a high enough fat content and the flavor won't be as good.
- Parmesan Cheese: I like to freshly grate my parmesan from a block, but you can also used pre-grated parmesan cheese.
- Lemon: Use the zest of the whole lemon and then the juice from half of it!
- Salt & Black Pepper: To taste.
How to Make Lemon Zucchini Mafalda Pasta
- Cook the Pasta: Cook the pasta according to the package instructions in a large pot of salted water. Reserve some pasta water before pouring it out.
- Sauté the Zucchini: In a large skillet, heat up butter and olive oil on medium heat. Add zucchini slices and sauté until slightly browned. Stir the zucchini to get all of the sides seared and golden brown. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Once both sides are browned, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add Garlic & Spices: Turn the heat down and add garlic to the pan. Sauté until fragrant, then add thyme and basil. Deglaze the pan with white wine and let it cook down, 2-3 minutes.
- Add Cream & Lemon: Add the heavy cream to the pan along with the lemon zest and lemon juice. Stir and let simmer, about 3 minutes.
- Add Pasta: Add cooked pasta, zucchini and parmesan to the pan. Mix well. If the sauce is a little too thick, add a bit of pasta water and stir.
- Serve: Serve immediately with more parmesan and lemon as desired. Enjoy!
Tips for Success
- Add more veggies! You can certainly add additional vegetables to this pasta recipe like broccoli florets or spinach.
- Serve with protein! Lemon zucchini pasta is perfectly good on its own, or you can serve it with a side of protein like grilled chicken or shrimp skewers.
- Spice it up! For a little bit of spice, throw in some red pepper chili flakes!
Frequently Asked Questions
This creamy pasta dish is best eaten on the day that it is made, but you can certainly store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days!
To reheat, you can use the microwave to heat the pasta through. However, the pasta will soak up the sauce and it won't be as saucy the next day. I like to reheat this pasta on the stove with a little bit of cream to add some moisture.
One package of pasta is typically enough for 4-5 large servings or 8 small servings. This recipe calls for 1/2 lb of pasta, which will make 4 small servings. If you are feeding a crowd, feel free to double the recipe!
More Recipes to Try
Creamy Lemon Zucchini Mafalda Pasta
- 1/2 lb mafalda pasta or your favorite pasta shape!
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 zucchinis thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 cup white wine optional
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- lemon zest from 1 lemon
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Reserve some pasta water before pouring it out.
- In a sauté pan, heat up butter and olive oil on medium heat. Add zucchini and sauté until slightly brown, then stir to get the other sides brown. Add pinch of salt and pepper. Once both sides are browned, remove from pan.
- Turn the heat down and add garlic to the pan. Sauté until fragrant, then add thyme and basil. Deglaze the pan with white wine and let it cook down, 2-3 minutes.
- Add heavy cream, lemon zest, and juice of ½ lemon. Stir. Let simmer for about 3 minutes.
- Add cooked pasta to the pan along with the zucchini and grated parmesan. Mix well. If the sauce is a little too thick, add a bit of pasta water and stir.
- Serve immediately with more parmesan and lemon as desired.