Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Straight From the Garden

In my quest to prove to my husband that I am not only going to cook Mexican food from now on (since we've had an awful lot of Mexican food lately), I decided to make this lovely pasta dish.  My mom gave me some zucchini from her garden (I took two nice and large ones).  With one of the zucchini (which would probably equal 4-6 zucchini size-wise that you would normally find at the grocery store), I made this pasta that I have wanted to try for awhile.  It was worth the wait!

Hopefully you don't have to wait as long as I did before trying it.

Zucchini Pasta with Ricotta


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 pounds zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound linguine
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup ricotta


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  Brush two rimmed baking sheets with oil.  Arrange zucchini in a single layer on sheets and brush tops with oil; season with salt and pepper.  Roast zucchini until tender and lightly golden in parts, 25-30 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook linguine according to package instructions.  Drain pasta and return to pot.  Add oil, lemon zest, and zucchini and toss to combine.  Serve pasta topped with ricotta.

Source: Martha Stewart Everyday Food, April 2010, found here.

Notes:  This was fantastic.  I did make a few changes, however.  I didn't have any lemons, so I used lemon juice, to taste, in place of the lemon zest.  I like lemons, so I probably used about 1/4 cup of lemon juice.  I also used PLENTY of coarse salt and ground pepper.  And you have to use freshly ground pepper.  I can't emphasize that enough.  This pasta doesn't have many ingredients, so the ingredients that you have need to shine through.  The ground pepper tastes totally different than the pepper you usually put in your salt and pepper shakers.

Also, while it doesn't look pretty to stir in the ricotta previous to serving the pasta, I would suggest stirring the ricotta into your personal portion before digging in.  It ensures that you get ricotta cheese in every bite.  The combination of the ricotta, lemon, and zucchini is to die for.

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