Creamy Spaghetti with Ricotta, Zucchini and Basil

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.

Casey Barber

Creamy Spaghetti with Ricotta, Zucchini and Basil

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    Ingredients

    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

    directions

    Prep: 15 min Total:
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    • 1

      Fill a 6-quart stockpot with water, add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, and bring to a boil.

    • 2

      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.)

    • 3

      Add the spaghetti to the boiling salted water and cook until al dente.

    • 4

      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.

    • 5

      Scoop 1/4 cup pasta water from the stockpot and drain the spaghetti.

    • 6

      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.

    • 7

      Finish with a drizzle of olive oil.

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