On Tuesday we took a (literal) work field trip to Medallion Farm, owned in-part by one of our board members. Located in the Tijuana River Valley (San Ysidro, basically on the border of Mexico), the main highlight was the strawberries that supply several businesses in Del Mar. In addition to coming home with some strawbs, I also scored some more fresh loot such as 10 eggs laid within the past 3 days, a bundle of rosemary, yellow squash and zucchini.
So it was only right that I made a farm fresh inspired dinner. I came across this recipe while googling “orecchiette with ricotta” in the grocery store. Originally I was going to make some type of pasta salad including zucchini, peas, lemon and ricotta, but this looked too good (and simple) to pass up.
Orecchiette with Zucchini, Tomato and Ricotta
Adapted from Food52
6 Roma tomatoes
16 ounces orecchiette or strascinati pasta
1 large zucchini (yellow), sliced into thin rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
2 to 3 pinches salt
7 ounces (200 grams) fresh ricotta
Handful of basil leaves, picked, rinsed, and patted dry
- Put a large pot of water to boil for the pasta and add a hefty pinch or two of salt. When the water begins to boil, score an ‘x’ on the bottom of the tomatoes with a sharp knife and blanch in the boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Keeping the water boiling, remove the tomatoes to a bowl of ice water and let cool.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook 11 to 13 minutes (or according to the recommended time on the packet of pasta). After about 3 minutes, add the zucchini rounds.
- In the meantime, when the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the tomato skins, then chop the tomato flesh roughly. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and gently sauté the garlic for 1 minute. When fragrant, add the tomato and a ladle of pasta water and let simmer until the tomatoes melt down into a sauce, about 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt (and when necessary, a bit more water to keep it “saucy”) and set aside.
- When the orecchiette are al dente and the zucchini tender, drain them together (reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water, if necessary) and add to the skillet of tomato sauce. Toss until coated, adding the reserved water to loosen if needed. Add the ricotta and fresh basil leaves, stir to distribute a little, and serve immediately.