Spring is here and this calls for all the warm-weather dishes!
These penne with lemony ricotta, zucchini and arugula are what spring food dreams are made of. Made with ingredients that scream FRESH and SPRING to me, you’ll definitely want to make it over and over again.
Inspired by my mom’s pasta with ricotta (I will post the easy-peasy recipe one day, promise!), I added some of my favorite ingredients of all time: lemon, zucchini and arugula. They lighten the dish up and make it appropriate for those warm spring/summer nights. The flavours are delicate, so don’t expect any flavours to dominate, instead they all blend together harmoniously to create a tasty dish.
The lemon zest really adds a nice kick and freshness which I love. And in the end, you can’t go wrong with a ricotta sauce in my opinion! After all, I’ve yet to find a recipe that contains ricotta that I didn’t like. I love it that much.
And did I mention what else makes this the perfect spring dish? The sauce will come together in the time that it takes to boil the pasta water. It can’t get much better than that can it? Because as well know, with the weather getting warmer, the last thing we want to do is make a dish that takes hours to prepare. Aint nobody got time for that when there’s evening strolls and drinks on patios to be had!
Penne Pasta with Lemony Ricotta, Zucchini and Arugula
- 200 g penne pasta
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups zucchini, sliced thinly into round pieces
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- zest of one lemon
- 1 cup arugula
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
Bring large pot of water to boil.
In the mean time, in a pan, saute onion in olive oil until about half way cooked, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook until tender- about 10-12 minutes.
At this point, add penne to boiling water.
Add ricotta and lemon zest to the pan with zucchini, and turn heat to low.
When pasta is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
Drain pasta and add to pan with ricotta and zucchini. Turn heat to medium and add parmesan cheese and about 1/4 cup of pasta water to make the sauce creamy. You can add more if needed. Add salt and pepper if needed. Add arugula and stir all ingredients together in the pan, until they're mixed together well and excess liquid is absorbed.
Plate, season with additional parmesan cheese and enjoy!