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
- Boil your choice of pasta according to the directions.* Save a cup of the pasta water for later!
- 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.
- Let the squash brown and then flip to brown the other side.
- Zest the lemon into the saucepan
- Add the drained pasta to the pan and mix everything well.
- Squeeze the lemon and mix the ricotta cheese into the pasta.
- Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
- Mix in some pasta water, about 1/4 cup at a time, until the sauce reaches the right consistency.
- 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!