Pesto Pasta with Zucchini & Lemon Ricotta
Family Friendly

Pesto Pasta

with Zucchini & Lemon Ricotta

20 MIN
+$3.95/serving 2 Servings
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    From the Test Kitchen

    This easy pasta gets its verdant color two ways: we’re stirring in tender zucchini (sautéed with red pepper flakes for a lightly spicy kick), then bringing it all together with our herbaceous basil pesto. A spoonful of creamy ricotta—mixed with a bit of parmesan and lemon juice for bright, rich flavor—is perfect for stirring into every bite.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      810 Cals (est.)
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    ingredients
    Pesto Pasta with Zucchini & Lemon Ricotta
    Title
    • 3 oz Prosciutto
    • 6 oz Elicoidali Pasta
    • ⅓ cup Basil Pesto
    • ½ cup Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
    • 1 Zucchini
    • 2 cloves Garlic
    • 1 Lemon
    • ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    • 1 oz Sliced Roasted Red Peppers
    • ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
    • 2 Tbsps Mascarpone Cheese
    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Roughly chop the peppers.

    Cook the zucchini
    2 Cook the zucchini

    In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Turn off the heat.

    Cook the pasta
    3 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

    Make the lemon ricotta
    4 Make the lemon ricotta

    In a bowl, combine the ricotta, half the parmesan, and the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Season with salt and pepper.

    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pan of cooked zucchini, add the cooked pasta, mascarpone, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined. Turn off the heat. Stir in the pesto and chopped peppers until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the lemon ricotta, prosciutto (removing the plastic lining between the slices and tearing into bite-sized pieces before adding), and remaining parmesan. Serve the remaining lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

    Tips from Home Chefs

    Prepare the ingredients
    1 Prepare the ingredients

    Fill a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water; cover and heat to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Peel and roughly chop 2 cloves of garlic. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Roughly chop the peppers.

    2 Cook the zucchini

    In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the sliced zucchini in an even layer. Cook, without stirring, 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the chopped garlic and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and slightly softened. Turn off the heat.

    Cook the zucchini
    Cook the pasta
    3 Cook the pasta

    Meanwhile, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly.

    4 Make the lemon ricotta

    In a bowl, combine the ricotta, half the parmesan, and the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Season with salt and pepper.

    Make the lemon ricotta
    Finish the pasta & serve your dish
    5 Finish the pasta & serve your dish

    To the pan of cooked zucchini, add the cooked pasta, mascarpone, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes, or until combined. Turn off the heat. Stir in the pesto and chopped peppers until the pasta is coated (if necessary, gradually add the remaining cooking water to ensure the pasta is thoroughly coated). Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve the finished pasta topped with the lemon ricotta, prosciutto (removing the plastic lining between the slices and tearing into bite-sized pieces before adding), and remaining parmesan. Serve the remaining lemon wedges on the side. Enjoy!

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