There’s nothing quite like this combo on a summer Pasta Night. Ricotta, basil, corn, and summer squash varieties. It’s good warm, but it’s really, really good at room temperature, when all the flavors have a chance to meld. So tonight’s a night when it’s okay if dinner gets cold—pour a glass of crisp rosé, set the table outside, and let everyone leisurely make their way to dinner.
1 1/2 pounds pattypan squash, zucchini, or summer squash, ideally a heap of baby ones
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup fresh corn kernels, from 2 ears of corn
1 large leek, just the white and light green parts
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 pound cavatelli pasta, good quality; we love Sfoglini
1 cup ricotta cheese, good quality
Zest of 1 small lemon
1 bunch fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced, or 3 garlic scapes, chopped
3/4 cup Parmesan, grated, divided
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice pattypans into 1/4-inch rounds. Drizzle with a tablespoon of oil, season generously with salt and pepper, toss, and arrange in one layer on a sheet pan. Roast for 25–30 minutes, flipping halfway through. Add corn and roast for another couple of minutes; set the sheet pan aside.
2. Slice the leek in half lengthwise, then slice into very thin half-moons. Place in a large bowl filled with water, swish well, and break apart the pieces so the grit falls to the bottom of the bowl. Pull out the leeks and drain; pat dry.
3. Drizzle a tablespoon of oil in a large sauté pan and set over medium heat. When oil is hot, add in leeks and crushed red pepper. Stir from time to time until soft, about 5 minutes.
4. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook pasta a minute shy of package directions until very al dente. Drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water for later, and transfer pasta to the pan with leeks.
5. In a small bowl, mix ricotta with 1/2 teaspoon salt, a few cracks of pepper, and lemon zest. In a small food processor, give the basil leaves a whir along with the garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and a pinch of salt.
6. Turn heat back on to medium-low, stir the ricotta into the pasta, coating well, and add splashes of pasta water as needed. Cook for another couple of minutes, then turn off the heat and stir in basil pesto and remaining Parmesan. Taste for salt and crack in lots of pepper. Let the dish rest for at least 10 minutes, then serve with roasted veggies.
From the book The Huckle & Goose Cookbook by Anca Toderic and Christine Lucaciu. Copyright © 2019 by Anca Toderic and Christine Lucaciu. Published on May 28, 2019 by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.
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