Fresco By Scotto's Lemon Pasta Primavera

Contributed by Rosanna and Elaina Scotto

Fresco By Scotto's Lemon Pasta Primavera

Recipe contributed by Rosanna and Elaina Scotto.

Prep Time: 30 minutes + 6 hours marinating lemons

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4


Lemon Preserve:

  • 3 lemons, sliced across in rounds very thin

Simple Syrup:

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 ½ cups sugar

Lemon Gremolata:

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (or panko)
  • 4 lemons, zested
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pasta Ingredients:

  • 1-pound capellini
  • 4 ounces zucchini, thinly sliced into half moons (about ¾ cup)
  • 4 ounces yellow squash, thinly sliced into half moons (about ¾ cup)
  • 4 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed, cut 1 1/2-inches long (about ¾ cup)
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 25 pieces of thinly sliced lemon preserve
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


For the Lemon Preserve:

Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve, then pour over the lemons in a heatsafe bowl and allow to sit for 6 hours at room temperature.

For the Lemon Gremolata:

In a large saute pan, add the butter and heat over medium heat. When melted, add the breadcrumbs and lemon zest and toast for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently, until breadcrumbs are toasted and light to medium dark brown. Remove to a bowl to cool completely.

For the Pasta:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Set up an ice bath next to the stove. Blanch the vegetables, one at a time first. Add the zucchini and allow to cook 30 seconds to a 1 minute or so until bright green and crisp tender. Using a slotted spoon, immediately remove from the water and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking.

Once cooled in the ice bath, remove to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and pat dry. Repeat with the yellow squash and asparagus. The asparagus may take a little longer to blanch.

In the same water or in a new large pot of salted water, bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan with olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and allow to cook until lightly browned, a minute or so. Add the chili flakes and deglaze the pan with the white wine.

Allow the wine to reduce by half, then add the lemon preserve, zucchini, yellow squash and the asparagus. Add the heavy cream, butter and season with salt and pepper. Drain the pasta and add to the saute pan with an ounce or two of pasta water. Toss to coat and form a sauce over the noodles.

Plate the pasta and top with the lemon gremolata. Serve.

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