On Saturday, one of my good friends, Ryann, from high school got married. Her wedding was special on so many levels. She got married in her parent’s backyard, which they masterfully transformed for her big day.
Not only did they have a separate area for cocktail hour, ceremony and the reception, they had a garden in the middle! A gorgeous, luscious, fruitful garden.
Funny enough, I spotted a giant yellow squash in the garden while Ryann was taking post-ceremony photos. She tried to grab it and I snapped a photo! Her mother loves spiralizing, so I’m sure she’ll be enjoying that squash soon.
Makes me want a garden wedding! I’ve actually already picked my location and it’s very statuesque, so I can’t wait to start planning everything around it.
Also, seeing that large garden made me want to live somewhere where I could have my own walkable garden. The wedding was in Bergen County in New Jersey, where farms are everywhere! It’s a beautiful part of the state and Lu and I gave ourselves an extra hour to drive around on our way home the next morning after the wedding to take in the scenery. Both of us were in awe of the beautiful New Jersey countryside.
While bowls of pasta with rich sauces and luscious ingredients are amazing, sometimes, a simple sauce over zucchini pasta is all you need to enjoy the flavors of fresh produce. This lemon ricotta has three ingredients: freshly cracked pepper, lemon, and ricotta cheese. That’s all you need!
Since ricotta is a mild cheese (with a divinely velvety texture), the kalamata olives offer a natural saltiness that works well here, since any added salt would cause the zucchini to turn to mush.
This pasta is vegetarian-friendly, but also works as an appetizer plate or side dish to a main. The wide zucchini noodles offer more space for the ricotta to cling to. My top tip for this recipe? It’s crucial to use pasta tongs when you plate it, since the excess water in the cooked zucchini adds moisture to the ricotta and causes it to thin out.
Other than that, this fresh zucchini pasta recipe is an easy one to whip up on a weekday or use at a dinner party on the weekend!
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Lemon Ricotta Zucchini Pasta with Kalamata Olives
- ½ cup ricotta cheese
- zest of 1 small lemon + 1 tsp of juice
- pepper to taste
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 medium zucchinis Blade A
- 1/3 cup halved kalamata olives
- Place the ricotta cheese and olives in a large mixing bowl with the lemon zest and juice. Season with pepper and set aside.
- In a large skillet, add in the olive oil. Once oil heats, add in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Then, add in the zucchini noodles and toss for 3 minutes or until al dente. Using pasta tongs to let excess moisture drip dry, transfer the zucchini noodles into the bowl with the ricotta sauce and kalamata olives. Toss to combine and then transfer to the pasta bowls using tongs, letting excess moisture drip off.
- Serve immediately.