When I'm cooking in the summer, I try to use as many seasonal ingredients as possible. With corn and zucchini being in season, I figured why not make a beautiful corn and zucchini pasta with spicy …
When I'm cooking in the summer, I try to use as many seasonal ingredients as possible. With corn and zucchini being in season, I figured why not make a beautiful corn and zucchini pasta with spicy ricotta?
It only took about 15 minutes to make so you won't spend all day slaving away in a hot kitchen. For a family of 4, you will need 12 oz short pasta (I used ditali, but shells would be great!), 4 tbsp olive oil, 4 ears of corn, 1 cup part skim ricotta cheese, 3 tsps calabrian chile paste, 2 zucchinis, 5 cloves of garlic, and 4 tbsps mascarpone cheese or creme fraiche.
I begin by filling a medium pot 3/4 of the way up with salted water and heat on high. Always add salt to your boiling water. It's not only going to make the water boil faster, but it will also flavor the food. Remember, the longer your food boils, the more salt it will absorb, so go light handed if you are boiling something for awhile!
Next, I cut corn kernels off the cob, peel and roughly chop 3 cloves of garlic, and halve the zucchini lengthwise then thinly slice crosswise to make “half moons”. In a medium bowl, I then combine the ricotta, chile paste, and salt and pepper. You can always add less chile paste depending on your heat tolerance, but I love spice.
Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook 9 minutes or until al dente and slightly firm to the bite. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain thoroughly. This will create a nice little sauce for the pasta and is one of my favorite tricks.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick pan, heat 4 teaspoons of olive oil on medium high. Add sliced zucchini and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly browned. To that, add the corn kernels and season with salt and pepper stirring 2-3 minutes. Finally, add the chopped garlic and season again, cooking 1 to 2 minutes or until the garlic is softened.
To the pan of cooked vegetables, add the cooked pasta and the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium high stirring constantly until throughly coated. Turn off the heat and add the mascarpone and stir (season again if desired). Finish by topping with spicy ricotta and enjoy this summer favorite!
A delicious addition would be bacon crumbles or pancetta, and feel free to add fresh herbs to brighten everything up. Happy cooking!