Zucchini Linguini with Pancetta and Homemade Ricotta

We don't eat a lot of pasta in the Gourmet Male household but lately I've been contemplating creating a light summer dish with linguini. So when I recently made some homemade ricotta I spotted a perfect opportunity to create a new dish. It's a twist of a couple recipes I've tried in the past but with a few added components that I think make it a knock out meal. And just perfect for summer. It's zucchini linguini with pancetta and homemade ricotta. 

zucchini linguini.jpg

To make it, you'll need (serves 2):

  • 250g fresh or quality linguini
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 2 slices pancetta
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • handful chopped mint and parsley
  • 4 tbsp homemade ricotta
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt, pepper

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. While the water is heating up, mince the garlic and zest the lemon. I swear by a Microplane, by the way. Grate the zucchini with the large holes on a box grater. It should look like this:

zucchini.png

Crisp the pancetta slices in a grill oven and then chop roughly and set aside. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and also set aside.

Once the water is boiling drop the pasta in and cook for approximately 8 minutes. While the pasta is cooking heat up a small frying pan with the olive oil. Sautee the garlic for a minute and then add the lemon zest and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and fry for about 3 minutes.

Once the pasta is al dente, drain it and reserve a bit of the cooking liquid. Toss in the zucchini mix and 3/4s of the ricotta and mix. Add a bit of the cooking liquid to the pasta and then mix once more. Plate the pasta, adding the cherry tomatoes and pancetta and a little of the ricotta on the side. Serve and enjoy! 

Homemade Ricotta

Recently, I took a cheesemaking course over at The Cheesemaking Workshop and learned how to best make homemade ricotta. To be honest, it's so very simple. All you need is a litre of long life (UHT) milk and 50ml of white vinegar. 

ricotta.jpg

Heat the milk to 93C and then turn off the heat. Add the vinegar and then stir in one circle and remove the spoon.  Let it rest for 20 minutes and allow the curd to form, like the picture above.

Gently lift the curd and drain in a ricotta hoop, if you have one, or some cheesecloth. Drain for at least 20 minutes. And you have ricotta! It can last in the fridge for up to 5 days.