Backyard BBQ Recipes: Skillet Pasta with Summer Squash, Ricotta and Basil

I love ricotta- so much that I’d probably eat it straight out of the container with a spoon if I knew I wouldn’t hate myself afterwards- and I also love summer squash, but up until now I hadn’t really discovered a recipe that combined the two in a way that was both delicious and filling. I finally came across this skillet recipe via PureWow recently and knew I had to try my hand at cooking it up for one of the recent cookouts I attended over my Fourth of July weekend.

Loaded with different flavors and textures- I had a feeling this was going to be a crowd-pleaser before I’d even finished preparing all of the ingredients!

If you’ve got 30 minutes- you can make this, too. It’s quick, easy and perfect for a last-minute meal idea- especially if you’re feeding a lot of hungry people!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 pound pasta (like penne or rigatoni)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup finely grated Romano
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Fill a large skillet with water and salt it generously. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Once it’s boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the instructions on the package.
  2. Drain the pasta and set aside, reserving ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water.
  3. In the same skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
  4. Add the squash and tomatoes, and cook until both are tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Add the reserved pasta water to the mixture and toss well to coat, then add the pasta and stir. Sprinkle in the Romano and stir again to combine.
  6. Dollop the ricotta on top of the pasta and garnish with basil. Serve immediately.

I admit, I used a little more ricotta than what was needed in the recipe- but I don’t regret it. This dish was delicious and filled me up in just one serving- and there was even enough left over to re-heat the following day for lunch (and it was just as good re-heated, too- which rarely happens!)

You can play around with the vegetables included in this one to better fit you or your guests’ preferences- but I liked it just the way it was and I know I’ll be making this one again!

xx

– Ashley-

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