Zesty Zucchini Pasta to Bring the Taste of Italy Home

Zesty Zucchini, Basil, and Ricotta Mezzi Rigatoni

Serves 4 people


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 bunch of scallions, finely sliced

2 shallots halved, thinly sliced

1/2 serrano chili, diced (optional)

Kosher salt

1 lb mezzi rigatoni dried pasta

2 zucchini, sliced into very thin rounds

2 lemons, zested and juiced

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

3/4 cup fresh ricotta

1/2 cup pecorino romano grated cheese

bunch of basil, thinly sliced for finishing (mint is a great substitute)


Cook pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta water: drain pasta.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, scallion, shallots, and serrano: cook until softened, about 30 to 60 seconds. Add zucchini: stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. At this point, add lemon zest, juice, and butter. Add pasta, ricotta, and 1 cup of reserved pasta water. Stir until ricotta melts and liquid is reduced and slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Remove from heat: stir in grated cheese. Add more pasta water if needed, a few tablespoons at a time. Divide pasta among individual bowls. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, chopped basil, more pecorino, and lemon zest.