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Penne with Sautéed Zucchini and Ricotta



  1. 2 1/2 pounds small zucchini
  2. 1 1/2 pounds penne
  3. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  4. 5 medium garlic cloves, minced
  5. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  6. 1 cup finely shredded fresh basil
  7. 1 pound ricotta cheese
  8. 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the zucchini and blanch for 2 minutes; they should still be crisp. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to a work surface and slice crosswise about 1/3 inch thick.
  2. Bring the water back to a boil, add the penne and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the 3 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until soft but not brown, about 1 minute. Add the sliced zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until very tender but not falling apart, abut 12 minutes. Fold the zucchini into the pasta along with the basil, ricotta and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Drizzle in olive oil to taste. Transfer the pasta to shallow soup plates, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Valpolicellas are red wines that can be drunk slightly chilled. The Allegrini Valpolicella Classico has enough acidity to cut the richness of the ricotta without overpowering it or the zucchini as does the Masi Valpolicella Classico.