Monday, August 9, 2010

RECIPE: Whole Wheat Penne Rigate with Zucchini & Ricotta

kosher salt
1/2 cup fresh ricotta (I used a very nice part-skim ricotta)
1 tsp lemon zest
3 tbsp evoo
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 1/2 tbsp warm water
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (if you're not into heat, use 1/2 tsp)
3 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in half and sliced into 1/3-inch thick half-moons
1 lb. whole wheat penne rigate
4 tbsp fresh mint, coarsely chopped
coarsely ground black pepper

1.Whisk the ricotta, lemon zest and 1 1/2 tbsp evoo together in a small bowl. Add the parm-reg, whisking until it is evenly incorporated. Whisk in 1 tbsp warm water so that ricotta mixture has a nice creamy consistency, almost like a dollop of creme fraiche.

1. Heat remaining 1 1/2 tbsp evoo in a large saute pan with lid over medium heat. Add crushed red pepper flakes. Saute until fragrant, but be careful not to burn the pepper flakes. Add the zucchini and stir to combine. Cook, stirring regularly, until just tender and golden-brown, about 5-6 minutes. Season well with salt and remove from heat.

3. Cook pasta in heavily salted boiling water (you need to use a ton of salt with whole wheat pasta before it tastes good) and cook until just al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water. Add the cooked pasta and the reserved pasta water to the zucchini mixture, stirring and tossing over medium heat to mix well. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and allow to steam together for 2 minutes.

4. Stir in the mint, season with more salt (if necessary) and pepper. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl. Garnish with dollops of the ricotta mixture.

Serve immediately with additional parm-reg (if desired).

Submitted by Vicki Boyne

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