Fettuccini with Zucchini, Garlic Scapes, and Lemon
Lilia, Brooklyn, NY
“In this dish, I use both garlic scapes and garlic bulbs. Garlic scapes are the stems and un-opened flowers of a garlic plant, and can be found during a very short window at the start of summer in New York City farmers’ markets. They’re rather unusual looking—coiled, green, and long—so it’s understandable that most people don’t know how to use them. You can use scapes in many of the same ways you would use garlic cloves; scapes offer a delicate, sweeter garlic flavor, while garlic cloves are more pungent. In this dish, I sauté both the scapes and cloves to achieve a balance and depth of garlic flavor. Adding the scapes at the end keeps them crunchy and bright, and builds textural dimension in the dish. Here, they’re combined with zucchini, which is a great sponge for soaking up the flavors in a sauce.” —Missy Robbins
- 4 small zucchini, julienned
- 1 pound fettuccine
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish
- 1 bunch garlic scapes, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 4 sprigs mint, leaves only, torn
- Freshly cracked black pepper
With a mandoline adjusted to a thick setting and fit with a medium julienne tool, slice the zucchini, avoiding the seedy core. Be sure to cut only the green meaty part, stopping on each side before you get to the seeds. Reserve the seedy core of the zucchini for another use.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt. Place the pasta in the water and cook until al dente, 7 to 8 minutes (2 to 3 minutes if using fresh pasta).
As the pasta cooks, warm the olive oil in a large sauté pan over low heat. Add the garlic and sweat until fragrant but without color, about 1 minute. Stir in the red pepper flakes.
Use tongs to transfer the pasta to the sauté pan. Add 1 cup pasta water, the garlic scapes, and zucchini. Toss over low heat for 3 to 5 minutes, until the fettuccine has absorbed the sauce and the zucchini has softened slightly. Add the cheese and toss once more. If needed, add more pasta water to loosen the pasta.
Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt if desired. To serve, evenly divide the pasta among four bowls. Top each portion with bread crumbs, cheese, mint, cracked black pepper, and extra red pepper flakes.
—From Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner...Life! Recipes and Adventures from My Home Kitchen by Missy Robbins with Carrie King/Rizzoli Publishing