Pasta with Summer Squash, Tarragon, Ricotta & Honey

July 14, 2016
6 Ratings
Photo by Posie Harwood
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

Inspired by an offbeat recipe from De Cecco pasta, this dish is a perfect way to use up summer squash. A touch of honey and nutmeg sweeten and balance the creamy ricotta and salty pine nut-tarragon sauce. —Posie (Harwood) Brien

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound pasta
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 large ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 medium zucchini or summer squash
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup sheep's milk ricotta
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until still very al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine the Pecorino, pine nuts, and tarragon. Drizzle in the olive oil with the machine running to make a pesto. Pulse in the ice cubes to thin. Set aside in a not-too-warm place until ready to use.
  3. Slice the squash into coins. Sauté in the butter over medium heat for just a few minutes until barely soft. Add the honey and season with salt and pepper; cook for one more minute then remove from the heat.
  4. Stir the nutmeg into the ricotta.
  5. Add the warm cooked pasta to the sauté pan with the zucchini. Add the ricotta and the tarragon pesto. Season with salt and pepper. Warm briefly and toss over the heat, then remove from the heat and serve. (Optional: Add a bit of torn fresh tarragon leaves as a garnish.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Cheryl
  • lu davis
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    Brooke Reynolds

5 Reviews

Cheryl June 19, 2020
Really good and easy to make. I made it vegan with cashew creme fraiche and vegan Parmesan plus 1-1/2 T nutritional yeast for the pesto. I used a generous 1/2 c tarragon and really amped up the summer squash by doubling. I'm not sure about the sweetner. I used 3/4 T agave and I think either I should have used more or omitted all together. I would probably omit the next time. 1/2 lbs chickpea pasta as I like more sauce than pasta. I'm so looking forward to leftovers. Thank you!
Monica July 9, 2019
Wonderfully creamy. I almost nixed the nutmeg (I was unsure), but it is a must! It adds a wonderful earthy element to the nutty pesto.
lu D. July 31, 2016
What is a good replacement for pine-nuts?
butterscotch February 27, 2023
Almonds would work.
Brooke R. July 23, 2016
Can you substitute tarragon for another herb?