One of my absolute favorite things about summer is the local farmer’s markets and the abundance of the freshest fruits and vegetables available. Not only are they beautiful specimens to photograph, it’s no secret that the freshness of ingredients can make or break a meal. Summer squash is high on my list to cook with and to photograph but is so underrated. It must be because we are overwhelmed by the amount of varieties that are available and how fast squash grows. Because it’s so readily available it just doesn’t seem special, but it really is. It’s one of those vegetables that can take over a garden in no time and we end up giving it away to everyone we know because we just don’t know what to do with it all. Here is a recipe I created where you can use a good amount of it for a nice dinner or double the recipe, and use a lot of it for a party or leftovers for several days. When summer squash is oven roasted it has a very delicate flavor and does not overpower a dish, it actually marries nicely with other subtle ingredients. Always use the freshest ingredients possible and the highest quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic you can find. Your guests will thank you. If you’d like to see more of my work feel free to visit my website.

Spaghetti with fresh tomatoes basil and ricotta salata-IMG_4008

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil and Ricotta Salata. Photo by Leslie Brienza

Spaghetti with Roasted Summer Squash, Tomatoes and Ricotta Salata
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  1. 1.8 kilograms zucchini squash
  2. 3 garlic cloves, whole, peeled
  3. 4 T olive oil
  4. 140 grams cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  5. 1 handful fresh basil leaves
  6. salt and pepper
  7. 2 T olive oil
  8. 230 grams spaghetti
  9. 100 grams ricotta salata
  10. extra virgin olive oil
  1. Cut ends off of zucchini and cut in ½” slices lengthwise. Lay all slices on baking sheet with garlic cloves, brush olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper
  2. Roast in oven at 190° Celsius for 40 minutes, turning over slices halfway through roasting
  3. While zucchini is roasting, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, cherry tomatoes and basil leaves to serving dish
  4. Once zucchini is browned remove from oven and cool
  5. Cook spaghetti al dente, reserve ½ cup pasta water
  6. Drain spaghetti and add to serving dish. Mix together with tomato mixture, adding reserved pasta water to desired consistency
  7. Grate ricotta salata and mix in, reserving some for topping
  8. Cut up zucchini into bit size pieces and add to serving dish
  9. Mix all together well then top generously with more grated ricotta salata and drizzle with a high quality extra virgin olive oil
A Kiss in the Kitchen