Buckwheat Pasta with Summer Squash, Tomatoes and Ricotta

"Our audience has really been receptive to our homemade alternative-flour pastas," says Travis Lett. He likes buckwheat for its added richness and texture. At the restaurant, Lett cuts the fresh pasta into rough rag shapes and tosses it with summer vegetables; this simplified version uses dried pasta.


Slideshow:  More Fast Pastas


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 8

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  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound mixed yellow summer squash and zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 pounds dried buckwheat pasta, such as pizzoccheri (see Note)
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta

How to make this recipe

  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil until nearly smoking. Add the squash mix and onion and cook over high heat, stirring, until lightly charred in spots and crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, crushing them lightly with your hands as you add them. Add the crushed red pepper, season with salt and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until nearly evaporated.

  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 3/4 cup of the cooking water.

  3. Add the pasta to the skillet along with the spinach, ricotta and the reserved cooking water. Toss over moderately high heat until the spinach is wilted and the sauce is thickened and clings to the pasta. Transfer the pasta to a platter and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.


Buckwheat pasta is available online at pastacheese.com.

Suggested Pairing

Lively, watermelony rosé.

Contributed By Photo © Dave Lauridsen Published September 2011

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