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lemon-basil squash pasta recipe


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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4


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Step 1

Zest the lemon into a bowl. Juice the lemon into a separate bowl and discard the seeds. Trim the delicata squash and cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Slice each half of the squash crosswise into ½-inch thick half-moons.

Step 2

Add the flaky sea salt to the bowl of lemon zest and toss to combine. Set aside.

Step 3

Heat 2 tablespoons of neutral oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Add the squash slices in an even layer. Season all over with salt and pepper. Cook without moving for 5 minutes until golden brown.

Step 4

Flip and season again with salt and pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes until golden brown. The squash should be fork-tender. Don’t be afraid to crank the heat during the last minute or so of cooking to get those nice caramelized edges. Remove the squash from the pot and transfer it to a plate.

Step 5

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until 2–3 minutes under what the package recommends. Scoop out 2 cups of pasta cooking water and drain the pasta.

Step 6

Drain off excess oil from the pot used to cook the squash. Add the lemon juice, plant-based butter, and maple syrup if using. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 5–6 minutes until it begins to reduce and thicken. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper.

Step 7

Pour in 1½ cups of the pasta cooking water and bring to a boil. Add the sliced basil and the drained pasta and cook, tossing regularly, until the sauce is thickened and the pasta is al dente, about 3 minutes. If needed, add the remaining ½ cup of pasta cooking water.

Step 8

Gently add the cooked squash and toss gently to combine. Be careful not to break up the squash too much. Taste and season once more to your preferences.

Step 9

Divide the cooked pasta and squash between shallow bowls. Garnish with citrus salt and a few basil leaves. Enjoy!