Summer Pasta With Ricotta And Zucchini⚓︎

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  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 2 lbs zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick pieces (for larger zucchini, cut in half lengthwise before slicing)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 oz basil (about 2 cups loose leaves)
  • 1 lb ziti or other dry pasta
  • 8 oz ricotta
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 oz 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 onions in 3 tbsp olive oil until softened (5-8 min). Reduce heat to keep onions from browning
  • Add zucchini, season generously with salt and pepper, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally until rather soft (about 10 min). Turn off heat
  • Meanwhile, use a mortar and pestle to pound garlic, basil and a little salt into a rough paste (or use a mini food processor). Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Boil pasta per package instructions with the minimum cook time for al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta-water
  • In skillet, add pasta to zucchini and turn heat to medium-high
  • Add 1/2 cup pasta-water, then ricotta, crushed red pepper, and lemon zest, stirring to distribute. Cook for 1 min. Mixture should look creamy. Add a little more pasta water if necessary
  • Add the basil paste and half the grated cheese. Quickly stir to incorporate
  • Sprinkle with additional cheese and serve immediately