As I mentioned recently, this baby mama doesn’t get to spend a ton of time cooking in my kitchen these days. (Thank you, Blue Apron!) When the stars align and I do get to come up with a recipe and pick up the ingredients, it’s got to be something simple. Luckily, summertime means lots of fabulous produce is available. It’s not hard to throw something delectable together in a flash, like this Pasta with Zucchini, Squash and Ricotta!
I wish I could say that I grew the zucchini and squash in our backyard garden, but alas, we decided to only plant one zucchini plant this year and it’s not very happy. Our grocery store has a section that features all locally grown produce, so at least I know these guys are farm fresh! Even when I do get to cook, it’s still ALL BABY, ALL THE TIME around here. Oden didn’t want to spend time in “Command Central” (his jumper chair thingie), so my back got a workout while I chopped up the veggies with a 20+ pound baby hanging off of me!
Look at those chunky baby thighs! Anyway, the only other prep work for this recipe was to slice up a shallot, chop up some garlic, grate some Parmesan cheese, and chop fresh basil and Italian parsley from the garden. I paused before cooking for Oden’s bath and bedtime, which took far longer than I’d hoped. Baby monitors are heaven-sent!
Let’s get cooking! First, I boiled some water for the pasta. While the pasta cooked (two kinds, since that’s what I had on hand!), I sautéed the shallot in some olive oil on medium heat. When they started to soften, I added the zucchini and squash.
Before long, I added the garlic, some crushed red pepper, and seasoned the pan with salt and pepper. I didn’t want the veggies to cook for too long- they get too soft! When they were still a tad crunchy but had some little browned bits on their sides, I added some white wine to the pan.
While the veggies simmered in the garlicky-wine sauce, I added a big handful of Parmesan cheese and most of the chopped herbs. The cheese combined with the liquid to thicken things up a tad. I scooped the cooked pasta right into the pan with the veggies with a bit more cheese, then added a big dollop of ricotta cheese. It melted into the pasta to make a light and creamy sauce.
To serve the pasta, I spooned another little scoop of ricotta onto each serving and added the rest of the chopped herbs. I made sure there was fresh black pepper and crushed red pepper (for heat!) on the table and we had some toasted bread, too. The sun was just setting as we sat down to eat on the patio. The last of the garden’s flowers are blooming, but it won’t be long until everything begins to go dormant. We actually need to wear sweatshirts to eat outside these days!
This pasta is so perfect for summertime. It’s full of summery veggies that are at their best right now, though you could add whatever veggies you have on hand. The wine, garlic, shallot, and cheeses make a deliciously light sauce, not thick at all- just lightly coating the veggies and pasta.
I love the combination of the salty Parmesan and the creamy ricotta. The fresh herbs brighten up the whole dish. And it came together so quickly! I’m reminded of why I love to cook, when simple, fresh ingredients magically combine into something special. YUM.
Pasta with Zucchini, Squash, and Ricotta
- 8 ounces of pasta
- 1 zucchini, sliced into rounds and halved
- 1 squash, sliced into rounds and halved
- 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine
- ½ (or more) grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup ricotta cheese
- Crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water per the directions on the box.
In a medium skillet, heat a few swirls of olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté until they begin to soften. Add the squash and zucchini and continue to cook, stirring often, for a few minutes. Add the garlic and stir. After a few minutes, when the veggies are just beginning to brown but are still not soft, add the wine and crushed red pepper. Add half of the Parmesan cheese and most of the chopped herbs, stir, and allow to simmer for a minute or two. Scoop the pasta into the pan with the veggies and add the rest of the Parmesan and a scoop of the ricotta cheese. Stir well, taste, and adjust seasonings.
To serve, top each serving of pasta with another scoop of ricotta cheese and sprinkle with the remaining herbs. Enjoy outside with a piece of toasted bread, a glass of light Pinot Noir or Sauvignon Blanc, and toast to fresh summer recipes and a sleeping baby. YUM.
Hungry for more? Check out my full collection of recipes HERE.
One year ago: A roundup of scrumptious Labor Day recipes!