Una ricetta buona, facile, veloce, economica, vegetariana e pure “light” da fare.
This meatless Monday recipe is one that I learned from my landlord when I spent a summer in Sicily as a graduate student. Signore knew how to stretch a “lire” like no one else and she taught me how to make something out of nothing from ingredients on hand. She was running a sustainable kitchen long before the term “cucina povera” was coined.
Ricotta cheese in a pasta dish adds protein to a meal along with a deliciously creamy texture. Joined with vegetables like zucchini, that are in abundance during the summer, the addition of pasta and ricotta make for a perfectly light summer pasta dinner al fresco.
1 pound of penne pasta
4 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds), sliced in thin rounds.
4 tablespoons EVOO
1 cup whole milk ricotta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh garden basil, rough chopped. Set aside a few whole leaves for garnish.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente, drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water for later.
Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, add the olive oil and sauté the zucchini until light golden brown, sprinkle with sea salt. Add pasta back to the zucchini, add the basil and toss. Add the pasta water and Stir in the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and black pepper. Portion just before serving and add a dollop of ricotta cheese to each serving. Top with additional basil.
This pairs well with a dry but slightly floral Pinot Gris from Laurel Lake Vineyards.