If you can’t find ricotta salata, pecorino would be a decent substitute. A bunch of zucchini blossoms blanched, shocked and sliced, would add wonderful color.
1 pound fusilli
5 medium zucchini, tops and bottoms trimmed ½ cup basil, packed
¼ cup mint, packed
Zest of 1 lemon, preferably zested into thin strips (rather than grated)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Shaved ricotta salata, to serve
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
Cut the zucchini into rough chunks and purée in a food processor until smooth. Add the basil, mint, salt and pepper, and continue to process until the herbs are totally incorporated and the mixture is smooth.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame. Add the zucchini mixture and the lemon zest and cook until the mixture begins to bubble around the sides, around 10 minutes.
Set to medium-low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 10–15 minutes. When the water is boiling, add the fusilli and cook according to package instructions while the sauce simmers.
When the pasta is ready, drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. Cover with the zucchini sauce and mix well.
Serve each portion with a generous handful of shaved ricotta salata and drizzle of olive oil.
LUKE PYENSON is a food and travel writer, recipe developer, food stylist and photographer based in New York City. You can see examples of his work at www.lukepyenson.com.