Zucchini Penne with Ricotta

April 14, 2021 , ,

From Fine Cooking, August 2018 by Erica Clark

I saw this recipe in the new issue of Fine Cooking and bought some ricotta cheese to give it a try. I love it when a recipe looks simple and easy, utilizes fresh seasonal veggies, and is something I’ve never tried before. This one fits the bill. Recipe contains dairy.

Recipe Link:  https://www.finecooking.com/recipe/zucchini-penne-ricotta


  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1-3/4 lb. zucchini (about 4 small), thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup whole-milk ricotta
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. penne
  • 1/2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano, finely grated (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp. finely grated lemon zest (optional)
  • Torn or sliced fresh basil leaves


  1. Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the zucchini, 1 tsp. salt, and the pepper flakes, and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat as needed, until the zucchini is softened and beginning to break down, about 20 minutes. If the pan begins to dry out during cooking, add water 1 Tbs. at a time up to 1/4 cup. Keep warm.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, lemon juice, the remaining 1 Tbs. oil, the parsley, tarragon, 1/4 tsp. salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and mix well.
  4. Add the pasta to the water, and cook according to package directions until al dente. Reserve a little of the cooking water, drain, and then add the pasta to the pan with the zucchini. Add the Parmigiano, and toss to combine. If dry, add a little of the cooking water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Divide the pasta among four bowls. Top with the ricotta, sprinkle with the lemon zest, if you like, and basil, and serve.