Sprinkling of finely chopped fresh basil, optional
Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water liberally. This is how pasta gets its flavor, so don’t be shy! Most of the salt won’t end up in the pasta.
Cook the pasta according to the package directions. I drain the pasta just before it’s finished so it doesn’t get mushy when I add it to the vegetable pan, where it gets cooked a little more.
Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and chile flakes. Let them sizzle for 30 seconds to a minute, then add the zucchini. Stir the vegetables to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until some of the water has cooked off and the veggies are tender, 5 to 7 minutes; young summer zucchini doesn’t need much cooking. Add the lemon zest and stir.
Drain the fettuccine and add it to the pan, along with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, the cream, and most of the cheese. Toss the fettuccine around the pan, and add salt and lots of freshly ground pepper to taste. Top with a bit more cheese and a sprinkling of basil, if using, and serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day by Leanne Brown, copyright (c) 2015. Published by Workman Publishing Company.