So I have this homemade Ricotta that I am trying to use up. Chris gave me My Italian Kitchen by Luca Manfré. In it I found the recipe for Orecchiette with Zucchini, Ricotta and Mint. I had the Ricotta, the fresh mint and I have always wanted to make orrechette. Well I am on vacation so…
One of the other cookbooks Chris gave me was MasterChef. In it was a recipe for homemade Orecchiette. Okay first mistake was to use a new pasta recipe. I should have made my usual recipe. The MasterChef recipe was rather dry, but next time… Making or should I say shaping the Orecchiette took a while to get the shape right. I actually watched a couple YouTube videos of “older” Italian women making Orecchiette. Holy cow I was ready to give up after watching them. It was like they were on speed. It took me an hour and a half to make this pasta, just shaping it. Perhaps with practice I can reduce my production time.
Okay back to Luca’s recipe. Pretty easy to follow. I make pasta with zucchini quite often. The addition of the mint lightened up the dish and I actually had the fresh mint in the fridge. Oh, I did make one change. I added a little white wine after adding the pasta to the saute pan. Sorry I could not help myself.
My version of Orecchiette with Zucchini, Ricotta and Mint, from My Italian Kitchen by Luca Manfré.
1 16 oz. package of Orecchiette
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, finely minced
2 zucchini, ends trimmed, cut in half and sliced into half-moons
Salt & Fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
Heat 2 tbsp oil in saute pan over medium high heat. Add the shallots and zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Orecchiette and cook until al dente.
Transfer the cooked pasta to the pan with the zucchini, adding some pasta water and the white wine. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the ricotta and the mint and turn off the heat. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.