Summer squash redux

Had to try one of last summer’s favorites. Sorry, I didn’t make the ricotta from scratch.

pennette-with-summer-squash-and-ricotta.jpg

Pennette with Summer Squash and Ricotta

Recipe courtesy of “Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking” by Mario Batali (Ecco, 2010)

Serves 6

  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 1 pound summer squash or zucchini, or a combination, cut lengthwise in half and sliced into 1/3-inch-thick half-moons
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt
  • 1 pound pennette rigate pasta
  • 6 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • Coarsely ground black pepper

• Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt.

• Meanwhile, whisk the ricotta and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil together in a small bowl. Add the Parmigiano, whisking until it is evenly incorporated. Whisk in 2 tablespoons warm water, then whisk in another tablespoon of water if necessary to loosen the consistency.

• Heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the squash and cook, stirring, until just tender and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Season well with Maldon salt and remove from the heat.

• Drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until just al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1⁄3 cup of the pasta water.

• Add the pasta and the reserved pasta water to the squash, stirring and tossing over medium heat to mix well. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and allow to steam together for 2 minutes.

• Stir in the mint, season with Maldon salt if necessary and with pepper, and transfer the pasta to a serving bowl. Garnish with dollops of the whipped ricotta and serve immediately, with additional grated Parmigiano on the side.

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