Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Garlic and Zucchini

By • June 29, 2010 6 Comments

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Author Notes: Since first trying homemade ricotta a few months ago, I crave it whenever I come home from a draining day. It is really a breeze to mix up a batch but if seems like too much just pick up a batch at the market on your way home. Mixed with pasta, lemon, garlic, and zucchini it is the perfect dish to soothe a weary soul. - melissavmelissav

Food52 Review: This made for a delicious and easy dinner. Melissa's instructions are impeccable--the timing was perfect and the seasoning was well balanced. The red pepper flakes and lemon really brightened the dish--I squeezed a little lemon juice over mine at the end. A perfect after-work meal.--I am thrilled to recommend it as an Editors' Pick. - drbabsThe Editors

Serves 3-4

  • 3/4 box of spaghetti
  • 3/4 cup fresh ricotta, preferably homemade (see my white potato pizza for a recipe)
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced very thinly
  • 2 zucchini, sliced in half, each half sliced into 4-5 slices lengthwise, each stick cut into small cubes
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2-1 teaspoons red pepper flakes, to test
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  1. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to boil.
  2. Meanwhile, place the garlic and a pinch of salt in a saute pan with 3 TB olive oil over low heat. Gently cook the garlic chips until they just start to turn lightly golden. By this point, your water should be boiling.
  3. Add the pasta to the boiling water.
  4. Meanwhile, crank the heat on the saute pan to medium high and add the zucchini, red pepper flakes, generous pinches of salt and ground black pepper. Spread the zucchini in one layer and let cook undisturbed for 1.5-2 minutes. Stir and let cook until golden on other side and cooked through. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Remove from heat.
  5. Drain the pasta once al dente (reserving a few TB of pasta water or, if you made your own ricotta, you can use the leftover ricotta whey). Add the pasta to the saute pan and stir. Then add the ricotta, lemon zest, and remaining 1 TB of olive oil. If it needs a little more moisture, add some reserved pasta water or ricotta whey. Taste for seasoning and dig in.

More Great Recipes: Pasta|Vegetables|Entrees|Zucchini|Ricotta

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Comments (6) Questions (0)


about 1 year ago ghainskom

Excellent weeknight recipe, at least for me: my silly kids turned down the zucchini cubes. Thank you for the recipe!


almost 2 years ago Kelly Dennison

Made this for dinner tonight. What an excellent combo! I've been making another zucchini pasta dish, but it requires a lot of heavy cream. I used low fat ricotta with this and I loved it! Delicious and satisfying. Thanks for the recipe! Love the lemon zest!


about 2 years ago Katie

This is a great recipe! I added roasted green chiles and substitued squash for zucchini and then devoured ever morsel. The homemade ricotta makes it extra special; I highly recommend making this dish! Thanks for sharing.


about 2 years ago Victoria Palmer

Making this for the second time for dinner tonight! It's quickly becoming my favorite zucchini pasta!


about 5 years ago melissav

Drbabs - so glad you enjoyed the pasta. Thanks for the EP recommendation!


about 5 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Melissa, I loved it and am looking forward to making it again.