This recipe is perfect for the summer, when you want to spend a minimum of time hovering over the stove top. With only five ingredients, the quality of the items used is very important. This is a pasta you can only savor in the summer, when the tomatoes are ripe and the zucchinis are pouring out of everyone’s garden.
And we can’t say this enough: high quality salt and pasta matter.
Strascinati, meaning “dragged,” is a traditional Puglian pasta. It gets its name from the manner in which it is made: by dragging the pasta across a table or board with a few fingers or with the tip of a butter knife. Therefore, the pasta has a smooth outside thanks to the contact with the table, and a ribbed inside – perfect for catching and cupping sauce.
In this recipe, we head to the garden for zucchini and tomatoes. And don’t forget the basil: tear a few leaves over each plate, and your classic summertime dinner is ready. Minimize the number of pots to wash, amount of water to boil, and number of burners heating up your kitchen by boiling the tomatoes in the same water you use to cook the pasta and zucchini together.
In 15 minutes, a fresh summer pasta using the bounty of your garden is ready to go.
Download your recipe card here: Strascinati with Zucchini.
Recipe adapted from Food 52
One and a half large ripe tomatoes
3.5 ounces (100 grams) fresh ricotta
Handful of basil leaves
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 for 8 to 10 minutes. After about 3 minutes, add the zucchini.
In the meantime, peel off and discard the tomato skins, then chop the tomato flesh roughly. In a 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 pasta is 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.