I can not believe today is the last real day of summer break. The summer has really just flown by. Yesterday, I took my son to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He loves exploring there, and having fun with all of the hands-on exhibits. We have also had some of friends over to play this week. And this afternoon we are heading to the pool for our last day of fun. It seems like there was so much else I planned on us doing, but we just ran out of time. One of my husband’s college roommates is going to be in town this weekend. And one of my best friends is going to be here next week, on her move across the country. So just because school is starting, doesn’t mean things are slowing down around here.
The one thing that is good about the end of summer is all the zucchini that is coming out of my garden. Last year I got so many zucchini, I did not know what to do with it! So this year, I only planted 1 plant. I am still getting more than I know what to do with. I have a chocolate cake recipe coming up for you next week. But in the mean time, I am putting it in pasta, salads, and just about anything I can think of. It seems that everyone who grows zucchini has more they can deal with, so just ask your neighbors or co-workers if you don’t have any, I am sure they have plenty! And with this ricotta pasta, you can even use up some of those tomatoes that are in your garden as well. Canned tomatoes will work just as well, so don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb 🙂
The original recipe for this ricotta pasta called for making your own ricotta. It sounds pretty quick and easy, just boiling milk and buttermilk and then draining. But I took a shortcut and just used store bought ricotta. So easy, and dinner is ready in just a few minutes. If you have the time and motivation to make your own, please come back and let me know how it worked out! Serve this zucchini pasta with a salad or a loaf of crusty bread and you have a great quick and easy dinner. The leftovers are great the next day for lunch as well!
- 12 oz bulk Italian sausage
- 1 (15 oz) container ricotta cheese
- 12 oz spaghetti , or other long cut pasta
- 1 Tbls olive oil
- 2 medium size zucchini , halved lengthwise and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (or 1 can diced tomatoes, drained)
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbls basil leaves
Bring a large pot of water to boil, and cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid.
In a skillet brown Italian sausage until cooked through.
In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the zucchini, and saute for a couple minutes. Add garlic, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Saute for 2 more minutes, until zucchini is almost cooked. Add tomatoes, and stir until warmed.
In a large bowl combine cooked pasta, zucchini mixture, sausage, and ricotta cheese. Stir until well combined. Add reserved cooking liquid if it needs to be thinned out. Stir in basil.