Last week, after one particularly hectic day in the lab,  I had no desire to stop at the grocery store on my way home.  Instead, I improvised, using a few things in the fridge leftover from past culinary adventures:  one reasonably large zucchini,  half a container of ricotta cheese, and a Meyer lemon abandoned inside the fruit drawer.

(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

farfalle pasta (or other favorite shape, enough for two)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 large zuchinni, ends removed, shredded
zest of half a Meyer lemon
juice of Meyer lemon
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
coarsely ground black pepper to taste (don’t be shy!)

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.

Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan, add the shallot, season with salt, and cook until translucent.  Increase the heat to high, and add the zucchini in a single layer. Do not touch it, allow it to cook undisturbed for a couple of minutes.  Add the lemon zest, and stir the zucchini around.  Add the black pepper,  the ricotta cheese, stirring gently to form a sauce. Add the lemon juice, keep warm until the pasta is cooked al dente.

Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, reserving some of the cooking water. If necessary, add some of it to the farfalle/zucchini mixture.   Heat everything together in low heat for a minute.  Serve, with the optional grating of good parmigiano-reggiano on top.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  I love zucchini and ricotta cheese together (and a Meyer lemon will always be welcome), but I must say what really made this dish was…. the cracked black pepper!   Italians know a thing or two about cooking, and their “cacio e pepe” pasta is a classic for excellent reasons. This dish reminded me of it, even with the other components fighting for attention with the “Piper nigrum“. 😉

Use as much pepper as you’ll be able to enjoy, and keep it on the coarse side. The little bits of peppery heat will make this simple meal quite special.

ONE YEAR AGO:  Anchovies, the final frontier!

TWO YEARS AGO:  Miche Point-a-Calliere

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    • I grew up fighting zucchini with all my strength, much to my Mom’s despair. Now, of course… it’s one of my favorite veggies. Amazing, isn’t it? 😉


  1. This looks like simple perfection Sally. What a great weeknight treat. The kids would love this! And I’d love that it would likely get them to eat zucchini!🙂


  2. I made some dark chocolate zucchini brownies this week and wasn’t paying attention as I shredded the zucchini – I shredded about twice as much as I needed – and now I have a TON of leftover shredded zucchini. This recipe is so timely! I didn’t want to make more zucchini bread, and now I have dinner!


    • Thanks, Deborah! I think I should go this route more often. It forces us to be creative and less afraid of improvising. Plus, it saves time and a trip to the grocery store, when I usually end up buying a bunch of stuff I don’t really need. Like a bag of ultra exotic flour…. 😉


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