Spaghetti with Zucchini, Ricotta Pesto, and Lemon Zest

I’m a totally crazy obsessed foodie who thinks about flavor combos most every hour and every second. So it shouldn’t surprise you that I spent days pondering on how to make a summer pesto pasta that’s creamy yet light and more summery.

This is what I came up with: native tender Zucchini that I got from the farm-stand mixed with traditional garlicky, bright pesto, tossed with velvety ricotta and a touch of lemon zest – all lovingly intertwined in strands of al dente spaghetti.

The picture speaks one word…YUM!

 

 

 

Makes: dinner for 4 people

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

The Ingredients

1 lb. good quality spaghetti

1 yellow onion, chopped

6 small zucchinis (little zucchinis are better because the seeds are smaller!), cut into half-moons

½ cup whole milk ricotta, more to taste

2 cups basil

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for sautéing

1/3 cup pine nuts

2 garlic cloves

3 tablespoons salted butter

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes

¾ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more to garnish

 

 

 

The Steps

In a food processor, add basil, pine nuts, garlic cloves, ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, and ¼ cup olive oil. Blend until almost smooth, maintaining some coarseness. Set aside.

Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. While cooking, in a separate large pot, add olive oil to coat the bottom, onion, and hot pepper flakes. Heat on medium-low until oil begins to sizzle. Add zucchini and sauté until al dente. Remove from heat.

Add hot drained pasta into zucchini mixture. Toss. Add butter, ricotta, and lemon zest and toss until combined. Add a large handful of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and toss again. Serve immediately! Creamy summer goodness…

 

 

 

The Steps with Pictures

In a food processor, add basil, pine nuts, garlic cloves, ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, and ¼ cup olive oil. Blend until almost smooth, maintaining some coarseness. Set aside.

Cook pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. While cooking, in a separate large pot, add olive oil to coat the bottom, onion, and hot pepper flakes.

Heat on medium-low until oil begins to sizzle. Add zucchini and sauté until al dente. Remove from heat.

Add hot drained pasta into zucchini mixture. Toss. Add butter, ricotta, and lemon zest and toss until combined.

Add a large handful of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and ricotta, and toss again.

Serve immediately! Creamy summer goodness…

 

 

 

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