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Pasta with Summer Squash and Ricotta

Recipe for July 11, 2010

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The joy of zucchini and summer squash is upon us!  This makes a delightful summer supper with a green salad and a baguette*.

Kosher salt                                                                        1 pound summer squash* or zucchini, or a

I cup fresh ricotta                                                               combination, cut lengthwise in half and

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil                                       sliced 1/3 inch-thick half-moons

½ cup grated Parmigianino cheese or                                    Maldon or other flaky sea salt

Farmstead First Dunlop* cheese plus                                    1 pound penne pasta

extra for serving                                                                 Coarsely ground black pepper

2 to 3 tablespoons warm water                                            6 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint

 

  • Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the ricotta and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil together in a small bowl.  Add the cheese, whisking until it is evenly incorporated.  Whisk in 2 tablespoons of warm water, then whisk in another tablespoon of water if necessary to loosen the consistency.   This is best at room temperature.  To do that put the bowl with the ricotta in a bowl of warm water to bring it to room temp.
  • Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add the squash and cook, stirring until just tender and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.  Season well with Maldon salt and remove from the heat.
  • Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until just at al dente.  Drain the pasta and reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water.
  • Add the pasta and the reserved water to the squash, stirring and tossing over medium heat to mix well.  Cover, reduce the heat to low, and allow to steam together for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the mint, season with Maldon salt if necessary and with pepper, and transfer the pasta to a serving bowl.  Garnish with dollops of the whipped ricotta and serve immediately, with additional grated cheese on the side.  Serves 6.

 

Adapted from Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking by Mario Batali.