Growing up, a favorite dinner was zucchini spaghetti, which was a clever way of getting us kiddies to eat our vegetables. Zucchini grated into pasta and cheese was not only palatable, but popular. I still crave it to this day. But this day, with zucchini on my hands and spaghetti on my mind, the cupboard was bare. No pasta to be had. What was I to do?
I decided to make my zucchini my spaghetti, and tart up the creamy element with some lemon and creme fraiche. Naturally, what goes with cream is bacon, so some pancetta I had wrapped up in the freezer had its moment. For a little textural contrast, a handful of broadbeans, and I finished the dish with some lemon zest.
The result was a soft but snappy base of vegetables with a decidedly adult sauce. The saltiness of the pancetta, lemony cream of the sauce, and refreshing zucchini base was more than the sum of its parts. I'm not sure I would have liked it as a child, but I certainly ate it up now.
Zucchini "spaghetti" with broad beans, pancetta and lemon cream
1/4 C. pancetta cubes
1 zucchini, cut into long, thin strips
1/3 C. broad beans
2 T. creme fraiche
1 tsp. lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
Trim excess fat off pancetta and cook in a splash of olive oil until any remaining fat is rendered and pancetta browns.
Add broad beans and zucchini strips and cook until they soften, about 3-5 minutes.
Stir through creme fraiche and lemon juice, then heat through. Stir through lemon zest. Add a grinding of black pepper and any extra salt to taste.