Pasta with Zucchini and Ricotta
- ¾ lb pasta
- ¾ lb zucchini
- 3 ½ oz ricotta cheese
- 2 oz onion
- 2 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 1 oz extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
Clean and chop the onion. Wash and dice the zucchini.
In a pan, saute the onion in a little olive oil.
Add the zucchini, then season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Then, uncover and brown the zucchini allowing all the liquid to evaporate over high heat.
Cook the pasta (preferably medium format) in salted boiling water and drain when “al dente”.
Transfer to a tureen, and toss with the zucchini and the ricotta, crumbled with the prongs of a fork. Mix well.
Sprinkle with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and serve hot.
Contrary to popular belief, squash and zucchini are the fruit of different varieties of the same plant. Squash is harvested when the fruit it ripe, where as zucchini is picked when it is still tender and tart. Like the squash plant, zucchini can be found throughout the world because it is able to adapt to different soils and climates. Because zucchini is so widespread, it is difficult to establish where it comes from originally. It is believed that squash is one of the few vegetables that existed in both Europe and the Americas prior to Christopher Columbus’s voyage. Some varieties of squash were grown in Egypt and Rome more that 2,000 years ago, whereas we know that squash was present in pre-Columbian America due to the discovery of 8,000 year-old seeds. With regards to the variety of squash plant that produces zucchini, it seems as though it was not cultivated in Europe until the 15th century, but that it was one of the first vegetables to be grown there on a mass scale following the colonization of Spain. In fact, various written records from the 16th century describe how to grow and cook zucchini.
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