Easy Pasta with Ricotta & Zucchini

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a small portion of penne pasta with ricotta and zucchini on a black plate

Too busy to cook dinner today? Here’s a quick recipe that will allow you to get a tasty meal by doing the bare minimum.

It’s perfect for the hotter summer days, when you don’t want to stay too much near the stove. Here’s how to make pasta with ricotta and zucchini.

What You Need

Fresh ricotta: choose a good quality ricotta from your favorite grocery store. This recipe is meant for ricotta made with cow’s milk, but if you want to make it a little spicier you can go with sheep’s milk ricotta as well.

Ridged penne pasta: it’s the only type of penne that can hold the dressing well.

Zucchini: take 2 or 3 zucchinis, take away their ends, and cut them into small pieces. If you want, you can cook them along with 2 garlic cloves and some breadcrumbs, but it’s not mandatory.

Herbs of your choice: you can use your favorite herbs to give this recipe some extra flavor. Many people usually go with fresh basil leaves, but this time I used some dried parsley.

Coarse salt and water: to cook the pasta.

(Optional) grated lemon zest or parmesan cheese: you can add them at the end to add some more flavor to your dish and give the ricotta cream a slightly thicker texture.

Method

Step 1: Wash and cut the zucchini, then toss them in a saucepan with a drizzle of oil and a pinch of salt. If you want, you can add some breadcrumbs to make them crunchier, and 2 cloves of garlic for flavor. Cook them on medium heat for about 10 minutes.

They shouldn’t become too soft, so check them every once in a while and adjust the cooking time to your preference.

When they’re ready, take them away from the heat and set them aside.

zucchini cooking in a saucepan

Step 2: While the zucchini are cooking, fill a pot with 3/4 water and bring it to a boil. Then add a handful of coarse salt, let it dissolve for a minute, and add the penne pasta as well.

Step 3: Add the ricotta to a bowl along with the herbs.

ricotta with dried herbs in a bowl

Now all you have to do is wait for 7-8 minutes. This recipe is perfect for busy people. You just have to do the bare minimum, and then you can focus on other things… or simply relax online.

Step 4: When the pasta is almost ready, take a ladleful of its cooking water and pour it on the ricotta, mixing well with a fork. You will obtain a smooth cream.

a smooth ricotta cream in a bowl

Step 5: When the pasta is ready, drain it and add it to the bowl with the ricotta cream, along with the zucchinis. 

Step 6: Mix everything. If you wish, you can add some grated lemon zest or grated parmesan cheese. Let everything rest for a couple of minutes, then you can serve.

I hope you like this dish. It’s quick and simple, and it’s also a good way to add more vegetables in your diet.

As you may have noticed, I’ve been sharing a lot of ricotta pasta recipes lately. I’m going to write a list of the best ones soon, so if you have any favorite dish, or would like to know how to make a particular recipe, let me know in the comments. I’ll cover it as well.

In the meantime, buon appetito!

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a small portion of penne pasta with ricotta and zucchini on a black plate

Penne Pasta with Zucchini & Ricotta


  • Author: Mortadella Head
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Units Scale

8 oz fresh ricotta cheese

12 oz ridged penne pasta

8 oz zucchini

Olive oil to taste

Fine & coarse salt to taste

Dried parsley or freshly chopped basil leaves

(Optional) 2 tbsp lemon zest or grated parmesan cheese


Instructions

  1. Wash and cut the zucchini, then toss them in a saucepan with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. If you want, you can add some breadcrumbs to make them crunchier and 2 cloves of garlic for flavor. Cook them on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. While the zucchini are cooking, fill a pot with 3/4 water and bring it to a boil. Then add a handful of coarse salt, let it dissolve for a minute, and add the penne pasta as well.
  3. Add the ricotta to a bowl along with the herbs.
  4. When the pasta is almost ready, take a ladleful of its cooking water and pour it on the ricotta, mixing well with a fork. You will obtain a smooth cream.
  5. When the pasta is ready, drain it and add it to the bowl with the ricotta cream, along with the zucchinis.
  6. Mix everything. If you wish, you can add some grated lemon zest or grated parmesan cheese. Let everything rest for a couple of minutes, then you can serve.
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Cooking
  • Cuisine: Italian

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