If you could close your eyes and dream of a summer pasta on a plate, it would be this Lemon Brown Butter Pasta with Zucchini. We take perfect little ears (literally translated) of orecchiette and toss them in a lemon-infused brown butter sauce, plenty of garlic, parmesan, and then toss it with sautéed asparagus and zucchini. For a little extra indulgence, we tear apart a big ball of burrata cheese and scatter it on top. It's the perfect combination of nutty, salty, creamy, and delicious!
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Season liberally with salt, it should taste almost as salty as the sea.
Heat a large skillet with high sides to a medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons of butter and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Once the butter melts, add the asparagus and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Saute until bright green and slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Remove from the pan. Add another 2 teaspoons butter and 1 teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Add zucchini and another 1/4 teaspoon salt. Saute the zucchini until caramelized and slightly softened, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from skillet and keep with asparagus.
Once the veggies have cooked, drop the pasta into the water while you brown the butter. Give it a stir and cook until aldente. Reserve the pasta water.
Add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter to the skillet. Once the butter melts and starts to turn brown on the edges, start to swirl the pan. Continue to swirl the pan until the butter turns a deep brown color and smells nutty. Once the butter is brown, add the garlic and 1/4 tsp salt, cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. BE CAREFUL, it will spatter so do it slowly. Stir or whisk to combine. Put back on the heat and simmer for 30 seconds, remove from the heat until the pasta is done cooking.
When the pasta is aldente, use a slotted spoon to transfer to the pasta to the butter and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Add the remaining salt, parmesan, and lemon zest. Toss until the cheese starts to coat the noodles and melt. Drizzle in the pasta water. Stir to combine. Add the veggies back to the pasta and stir until combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Tear the burrata in pieces and serve on top of the pasta.