Pasta, Ricotta, and Summer Squash

by Vicki BrunsvoldTastemaker in Residence

Makes 6-8 servings


2 lbs Zucchini or yellow squash, sliced into 1/4” pieces

1 small onion, diced

1 cup fresh basil leaves (about 1 ounce)

1 lb dry pasta, such as farfalle or ziti, cooked al dente according to package

1 cup reserved cooking water from pasta

8 oz ricotta

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch of crushed red pepper

Zest of one lemon

Olive oil

salt and pepper

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 2 ounces) plus more for serving


  1. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in large skillet and add onion. Cook until softened, about 5-8”.

  2. Add squash, generously salt and pepper and cook until quite soft, about 10” and turn off heat.

  3. In mortar and pestle or small food processor, grind together basil leaves, garlic, and a little salt. Add olive oil and mix.

  4. Add cooked pasta to squash mixture, stirring well over medium high heat. Stir in 1/2 cup cooking water, ricotta, crushed red pepper, and lemon zest and cook one minute, adjusting seasoning as needed. Mixture should be creamy, add more water if needed.

  5. Add the basil paste and 3/4 cup parmesan. Stir to incorporate.

  6. Spoon into warm soup bowls or plates and garnish with remaining parmesan.