- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 pounds zucchini, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick pieces (for larger zucchini, cut in half lengthwise before slicing)
- Salt and pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups basil, loose leaves (stems removed)
- 1 pound bucatini or other dry pasta
- 8 ounces ricotta (good quality)
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 3 ounces grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onions in 3 tablespoons olive oil until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Do not brown the onions.
2. Add zucchini, season generously with salt and pepper, cook for about 10 minutes. Turn off heat.
3. Use a mortar and pestle to pound garlic, basil and a little salt into a rough paste (or use a mini food processor). Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil.
4. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the water. Cook according to packaging instructions to bring to Al dente. Keep 1 cup of liquid.
5. Add cooked pasta to the zucchini skillet and turn heat to medium. Add 1/2 cup cooking water, then the ricotta, crushed red pepper and lemon zest, stirring to combine well. Cook for about 1 minute more.
6. Add the basil paste and half the grated cheese and quickly stir. Spoon pasta into warm bowls and sprinkle with more parmesan cheese.