This past weekend was a fun one…it was the NYC Wine and Food Festival (catch a recap video here) in addition to a big fancy party to celebrate Food Network’s 20th anniversary. I traded in my regular mom uniform (these days it’s yoga pants and a sweatshirt) for fancy cocktail dresses and stilettos that were far too tall. The best party of the long weekend was the birthday bash. I felt so honored to be invited and enjoyed catching up with the many wonderful people that I’ve met and worked with these past 5 years since I first appeared on the network. I spent some time thinking about my experiences on Food Network Star and Kelsey’s Essentials and felt overwhelmed with gratitude. It’s such a privilege that I get to do this job and I don’t want to take anything for granted.


This Fettuccine with Yellow Squash and Parmesan-Lemon Cream Sauce was the first recipe that I made on the pilot for Kelsey’s Essentials and one of my most popular recipes on Cooking Channel’s website. The lemon cream sauce is addictive and after making it once, you’ll make it over and over again mixing and matching it with other dishes. The fresh pasta isn’t bad either (wink*) and the yellow squash is the perfect compliment to this lineup of flavors.


Do you have a go to sauce that you use all of the time? I make this cream based sauce more than I care to admit, but boy is it good!


Click ‘read more’ for the recipe.



Fettuccine with Yellow Squash and Parmesan-Lemon Cream Sauce


Yield: 4-6 servings



1 recipe fresh pasta dough with spinach puree, cut into fettuccine, recipe follows, or 8 ounces dried fettuccine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
1 medium yellow squash, diced
2 teaspoons fresh grated lemon zest
1/4 cup white wine
3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus Parmesan curls or more grated cheese, for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fresh Pasta Dough
2 cups flour
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Flavor and color variations, recipes follow, optional



Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, and cook the fresh fettuccine pasta until just tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and season with salt, and pepper. Add the yellow squash and saute until almost tender. Add the lemon zest and continue cooking for 1 more minute.
Add the white wine, and scrape up the pan releasing any dry bits on the bottom. Add the chicken stock, heavy cream, lemon juice, and reserved cooking liquid. Bring to a simmer and continue cooking until the sauce is creamy and coats the back of a spoon. Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese. Season the sauce with salt, and pepper, to taste.
Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve. Garnish with additional Parmesan cheese.


To make fresh pasta dough:

Mound the flour on a clean work surface. Hollow out the center making a well in the middle of the flour with steep sides.
Break the eggs into the well. Add the salt, and olive oil to the hollow center and gently mix together with a fork. Gradually start incorporating the flour by pulling in the flour from the sides of the well. As you incorporate more of the flour, the dough will start to take shape.
With your hands or a bench scraper continue working the dough until it comes together. If the dough is too dry, add a little water; if too wet or sticky, add a little flour.
Begin kneading the dough and keep kneading until it becomes smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. At this point, set the dough aside, cover it with plastic, and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes. You can store the dough in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but allow it to return to room temperature before rolling it out.
Divide the pasta dough into 4 even sections. Keep each section covered with plastic wrap or a clean towel while you work with each one. Flour the dough, the rollers of a pasta roller (or your rolling pin), your hands, and the work surface.
If using a pasta machine: Flatten 1 of the of the dough pieces between your hands or with a floured rolling pin until it forms a thick oval disk. Dust the disk, the roller, and your hands with additional flour. Flour a baking sheet to hold the rolled out finished pasta.
With the roller on the widest setting, pass the pasta through the machine’s rollers a few times until it is smooth. Fold the dough over into 1/3, and continue to pass through a few more times until the pasta is smooth again. Begin adjusting the pasta machine settings to become thinner, passing the dough through a few times at each setting.
If rolling the pasta by hand: Flatten a dough piece into a thick oval disk with your hands. Flour a baking sheet for the rolled out finished pasta. Place the oval dough disk on a floured work surface, and sprinkle with additional flour. Begin rolling out the dough with a floured rolling pin working from the center of the dough outwards, constantly moving the dough and lifting it to make sure it’s not sticking.



Flavor and color variations:
Cook’s Note: All color additions should be added to eggs before incorporating into the flour. Keep in mind that you will need to add a little bit of flour to your basic pasta recipe to compensate for the additional liquid added.
Spinach Pasta Dough (green hue): Blanch 8 ounces (about 3 cups) spinach leaves. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Press the spinach puree through a small strainer or chinois, removing the liquid before mixing with the eggs. Add 3 tablespoons spinach puree to the eggs before mixing. If the dough feels too sticky, add additional flour until a soft, silky dough is achieved.


Tomato Pasta Dough (orange hue): Add 2 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste to the eggs before incorporating into the flour.


Beet Pasta Dough (pinkish-red hue): Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roast 1 large beet in aluminum foil about 45 minutes, or until tender. Peel the beet and puree in a food processor. Add the beet puree (about 4 tablespoons) to eggs before incorporating into the flour.


Herb Pasta Dough (speckled): Mince 1/2 cup fresh herbs and add to eggs before incorporating into the flour.


Squid Ink Pasta Dough (black hue): Add 1 tablespoon squid ink to the eggs before incorporating into the flour.


To print this recipe and read reviews, click here.

Permalink | Posted in: Main Dish, TV

4 Responses to “Fettuccine with Yellow Squash and Parmesan-Lemon Cream Sauce”

  1. Pamela says:

    This was absolutely wonderful- I did not make my own pasta but did purchase some fresh fettuccine from a local Italian deli ( must use fresh pasta for this dish). It was a hit with the family and will definitely be a regular on our menu.

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