Find fresh ricotta, not the tubs of pasteurized cheese from the supermarket shelves, for this recipe: its lush creaminess is crucial to making a simple but ridiculously rich sauce for ribbons of tender zucchini and al dente pasta.
|1 pound spaghetti||1 large zucchini|
|Kosher salt||1/2 cup basil leaves, cut into ribbons|
|3 tablespoons olive oil||1/2 pound fresh ricotta cheese|
Fill a 6-quart stockpot with water, add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, and bring to a boil.
While the pasta water comes to a boil, rinse the zucchini and shred lengthwise into 1/8-inch ribbons with a mandoline or Japanese slicer. (Please use the hand guard or a cutproof glove when working with the sharp blades of a slicer for safety.)
Add the spaghetti to the boiling salted water and cook until al dente.
While the spaghetti cooks, heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or sauté pan over medium heat, and add the zucchini. Sprinkle with a liberal pinch of kosher salt and stir to coat with the oil. Cook the zucchini for 3-4 minutes until crisp-tender.
Scoop 1/4 cup pasta water from the stockpot and drain the spaghetti.
Add the spaghetti, basil, and ricotta to the skillet with the zucchini and toss lightly to combine. If the pasta is sticky, add the reserved water a splash at a time as needed.
Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
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