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Pappardelle with Zucchini and Lemon

Be sure to choose a good-quality ricotta cheese. For the best results, place a cheesecloth or paper towel-lined sieve over a large measuring cup or bowl and drain the ricotta of any excess moisture.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp. plus 2 Tbs. salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 lb. pappardelle or wide egg noodles
  • 1/2 cup grated pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Make the sauce
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat.

In a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallot and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the zucchini and the 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender-crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the ricotta and lemon zest.

Cook the pasta
Meanwhile, add the 2 Tbs. salt and the pasta to the boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until al dente (tender but firm to the bite), according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Add as much of the cooking water as needed to loosen the sauce.

Divide the pasta among warmed bowls and serve immediately, passing the pecorino cheese at the table. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Vegetarian, by Dana Jacobi (Oxmoor House, 2007).