Another simple, tasty dish. This is great hot, warm, room temperature, or cold. You can add other ingredients, if you like, but I prefer it’s uncomplicated nature.

I’m giving an an option of salting the zucchini before cooking it. If you have the time, an extra half hour, try it. The salt draws out the moisture, firming up the zucchini and intensifying the zucchini’s flavor.

3 c sliced or chopped zucchini or summer squash
2 – 3 t salt, optional
1 lb pasta
1 c ricotta, cottage cheese, or mashed tofu
6 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 c grated Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese, plus extra for serving
6 T coarsely chopped fresh basil, parsley, dill or other herb, or a combination
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Optional salting–Mix sliced or chopped zucchini with salt in a bowl or colander. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain if in a bowl, rinse if you like, then spread out on a kitchen towel to dry or wrap in said towel and gently press to dry.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil for the pasta, then add pasta.

3. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta and half the olive oil in a large serving bowl. Add the grated Parmesan, and stir to incorporate.

4. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet and cook the zucchini until tender and lightly browned, though don’t worry if you’re not getting much browning.

5. When the pasta is done to your liking, drain, reserving a cup of the cooking liquid. Put the drained pasta into the skillet with the zucchini, and stir to combine. Transfer the pasta and zucchini to the serving bowl along with a good splash of the cooking liquid. Stir everything together, making sure the ricotta mixture is evenly distributed. Add more cooking water if the dish seems dry. Add freshly chopped herb, salt, and pepper, stirring to combine, then serve now or later.