I’m not usually one to get too friendly with the neighbors. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure they’re lovely people. I just prefer to remain fairly anonymous in case some of them are horribly obnoxious.
Despite those usual tendencies, we have become quite close with our next door neighbors. Riccardo is the executive chef at a fabulous Italian restaurant downtown. Since the pandemic shuttered most of DC, we’ve started socializing frequently with he and his wife. Our back patios butt up to each other, so we’re able to enjoy cocktail hours and shared dinners over a low fence, all while social distancing appropriately.
A few weeks ago, Riccardo started introducing us to his restaurant’s food suppliers, and just like that, life changed. Wholesale, restaurant-grade Italian ingredients delivered right to our door. Our first purchase was a 10 pound bag of fettuccine. Yes, you read that correctly. We bought 10 pounds of pasta.
To sum things up, we’ve been eating a lot of pasta, enter this simple recipe. It comes together quickly and the sweetness of the corn cuts the richness of the roux to deliver a beautifully balanced and complex dish.
I use a mandoline to make quick work of slicing the zucchini and squash. Check out this post to learn more about this handy little tool that I recommend being stocked in for every kitchen
Summer vegetable fettuccine with a light lemon roux
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
- 4 large zucchini, circle cut (about 1/4" thick)
- 3 large yellow squash, circle cut (about 1/4" thick)
- ½ cup corn, I used frozen
- 5 large white mushrooms, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste, I used about 1 tbsp kosher salt and a few twists from the pepper grinder
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup flour
- ½ cup 2% milk
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
- 20 ounces fettuccine pasta
Start The Base
- Heat oil over medium heat in the largest pan you have. You are going to want to use a wok, or another pan with very high sides.
- Add the garlic, onion and broccoli and stir. Sauté over medium heat until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir as necessary to avoid burning.
- Add the zucchini and squash. I use a mandolin on the thickest setting to make quick work of the cutting, but you can hand slice them as well. Just try to get the slices as uniform in thickness as possible. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the mushrooms and corn. Continue cooking over medium heat. The vegetables will release a lot of water as they cook down. Keep cooking until most of the liquid has cooked out. Stir as needed to avoid burning. This might take an additional 10-20 minutes.
- While the vegetables are cooking down, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water with a tablespoon of salt. Cook the fettuccini as directed. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. You will use this later. I like my pasta more on the al dente side, so I always start to check it a couple of minutes before the directions say it will be ready.
Start The Roux
- *Heat butter over low heat until it is fully melted. Be sure not to burn the butter, it should still be a pale yellow color, not brown.
- Add flour slowly, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking continuously as you pour. Continue stirring the roux until there are no flour clumps.
- While continuously whisking, slowly stream in the milk.
Combine the vegetables, pasta and roux
- Once the vegetables have released almost all of their juices, combine the vegetables, pasta and roux into one pot.
- Turn the heat to low and stir.
- If you’d like a thinner sauce, slowly stream in the reserved pasta water, a couple tablespoons at a time until it reaches your preferred consistency.
- Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Stir to combine.
- Divide into bowls and serve.
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