Summer ingredients combine together to make a perfect summery pasta dinner. Use whatever pasta you have on hand, throw in some summer squash and tomatoes if you have any, and head over HERE to make my homemade ricotta to stir in at the end.
And don't forget to add a generous amount of fresh basil.
This is best enjoyed outside with your favorite glass of rosé.
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 pounds zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick pieces (for larger zucchini, cut in half lengthwise before slicing)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups basil
- 1 pound spaghetti or penne or fusilli -- or your favorite pasta
- 8 ounces ricotta (I highly recommend making the one from here -- scroll up for the link!)
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 2 ounces grated Parmesan, pecorino or a mixture, about 1 cup, plus more for serving
Put a pot of water on to boil.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onion in 3 tablespoons olive oil until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat as necessary to keep onions from browning.
Add zucchini, season generously with salt and pepper, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until it softens, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat.
Meanwhile, in a food processor pulse garlic, basil and a little salt until it looks a bit like paste. Add mixture to small bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Cook pasta according to directions.
For perfectly al dente pasta cook it for 3 minutes less than the cooking time on the package. Use a measuring cup to get about a cup of pasta water, then drained cooked pasta.
Add cooked pasta to zucchini in skillet and turn heat to medium-high.
Add 1/2 cup cooking water, then the ricotta, crushed red pepper and lemon zest, stirring to distribute.
Check seasoning and adjust. Cook for 1 minute more. Mixture should look nice and creamy.
If the sauce is too thick, add a little more pasta water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to loosen it up.
Add the basil mixture and half the grated cheese and quickly stir to incorporate.
Divide pasta among 4 bowls and sprinkle with more cheese -- because you can never have too much cheese on your pasta!