The weather has been weird. Hot then rainy then cold (at least for June). I’ve been in the garden cursing at my tomatoes to bear fruit — otherwise our raised bed garden is just an expensive box o’ dirt — and feeling uninspired about dinner. Spring has faded, but we’re not quite bursting with summer produce yet.
So I made one of those early summer pasta dishes for dinner.
E doesn’t like zucchini (this week), but I persuaded him to eat the whole dish by telling him, no, they’re really good because they’re in season. It turned out that his bad history with squash was all due to my poor purchasing history with the squash. Yes, he said, I only like them when they’re in season. Right.
1 lb whole wheat pasta shells
2 zuchinni or other squash, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup -1/2 cup olive oil plus more for cooking the squash
1 1/2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
about 2 cups fresh basil leaves
generous pinches sale alle erbe (herbed sea salt) or sea salt plus a bit of dried rosemary or sage
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
Boil the pasta for 12-14 minutes or until al dente.
While the pasta is cooking, get to everything else. Drizzle olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the onion. Add a pinch of the herbed salt. Once the onion is soft, add the squash and continue to cook until the onions are a bit caramelized but the squash still has some bite.
In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese with the olive oil. Start with 1/4 cup but add more olive oil to taste. Chop and add the basil leaves to the mixture and season with the herbed salt and freshly ground pepper.
Once the shells are finished, add those to the pan with the squash and onions, and then spoon in the ricotta mixture. Finally, grate about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese on top and toss well. Enjoy.