Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Week 38: Zucchini, Tomato, and Ricotta Pasta

I love, love, love zucchini. That was the impetus for this choice. That and the totally failed pasta recipe from earlier in the week.

Zucchini, Cherry Tomato, and Fresh Ricotta Pasta
Taken from Cooking Light

Makes 2 servings
Prep and Cook time: Less than 30 minutes

3 C whole milk
1/2 C buttermilk
3 1/2 tsp salt, divided
8 oz uncooked fettuccine
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
3 C cherry tomatoes, halved

To make about 1/2 C fresh ricotta:
Combine milk and buttermilk in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; drain. Place milk solids in a small bowl; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Toss gently to combine.

Prepare fettuccine noodles according to package directions.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add zucchini; sauté 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and garlic; sauté 2 minutes, stirring frequently; stir in tomatoes. Combine remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, pasta, and tomato mixture in a large bowl; toss. Top with ricotta.

This was light and fresh tasting, but it didn't have a lot of flavor. To make it a little livelier, I would suggest: use flavored fettuccine noodles (like peppercorn), increase portions of zucchini, tomato, and garlic to the amounts listed above, and top with some Parmesan.

Also, I have to comment on how easy it was to make the ricotta. It freaked me out a little when I initially read the recipe, but I'm glad I tried it. It dirtied an extra pot but didn't add much time or prep to the cooking process. If you want to substitute store-bought ricotta, you'll need about 1/2 C.

Also, I made this as a main course dish for myself. It's enough for two main course servings. Next time around, I would use it as a side dish with grilled chicken, salmon, or steak.

There will be a next time, though.

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