Ralph’s Summer Squash Pasta

When my brother-in-law Ralph found out that I was having trouble using up all of the summer squash I’ve been getting in my CSA, he told me about a delicious pasta dish he made with browned zucchini, lemon and ricotta cheese. I was intrigued. When his mother-in-law told me it was the best pasta dish she had ever eaten, I knew I had to make it for dinner as soon as my next pickup, filled with two pounds of farm-fresh summer squash, arrived.

This is a light and fun pasta dish, and a nice change from our usual go-to pastas. I actually made only 1/2 the recipe (so unlike me to use 1/2 box of pasta!) and served it with a side salad for a wonderful and quick dinner. It barely takes longer than boiling a box of pasta, and you don’t even have to turn the oven on! I have a feeling we’ll be eating a lot of summer squash in this form as long as the season lasts. Give it a try and let us know what you think!

Ralph’s Summer Squash Pasta with Lemon and Ricotta


  • 1 pound of pasta. Ralph used fettuccine and I used rotini.
  • about 1 pound of summer squash, cubed
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup of ricotta cheese, store-bought or homemade
  • 4 basil leaves, chopped
  • olive oil, salt and pepper


  1. Boil your choice of pasta according to the directions.* Save a cup of the pasta water for later!
  2. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan and coat the bottom with olive oil. Add the garlic until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes, then add the squash and mix to coat.
  3. Let the squash brown and then flip to brown the other side.
  4. Zest the lemon into the saucepan
  5. Add the drained pasta to the pan and mix everything well.
  6. Squeeze the lemon and mix the ricotta cheese into the pasta.
  7. Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
  8. Mix in some pasta water, about 1/4 cup at a time, until the sauce reaches the right consistency.
  9. Add the basil and stir. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

*make sure not to overcook the pasta. It will continue cooking a bit in the sauce!