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Pasta with Zucchini and Ricotta

Something quick to do with summer squash (serves 2 hungry people or maybe 3, depending – I got one dinner and two lunch portions out of this):

  1. Julienne 2 -3 medium zucchini. Put a pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  2. Heat about 2 Tbs of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot (but don’t let it smoke), add two smashed cloves of garlic. Let those sputter in the oil for a bit, imparting their aroma to the oil, until cloves start turning brown. Remove before they burn.
  3. Now add a few anchovy fillets, as well as some of the oil they come in. I added 4 but I’m a fan. Stir the anchovies into the oil until they are almost dissolved.
  4. Add the julienned zucchini to the oil. Toss them so that all slices/pieces are covered in oil, then let them sit for a while to get a bit of color. Stir occasionally. Add cayenne pepper if you like a touch of spice, and perhaps a bit of basil salt – just remember that anchovies are already salty.
  5. In the meantime, add half a package of spaghetti or linguine to the boiling pasta water. Or a whole package if you have a lot of zucchini/people to feed. Cook pasta al dente.
  6. Don’t forget to stir the zucchini occasionally so they don’t stick to the pan.
  7. Once the pasta is ready, save about half a cup of the pasta water before actually draining the pasta.
  8. Add 4-5 leaves of fresh mint, chopped, to the zucchini. Let that breath for a bit so that the mint can mingle.
  9. Add the pasta to the pan with the zucchini – you used a large pan, right? – and toss everything, adding in some of the pasta water (not all of it at once; use your judgment).
  10. Finish off with a few healthy Tbs of ricotta, and mix that under the pasta-zucchini combo until the cheese evenly coats everything.
  11. Serve and enjoy.
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