Inspired by an offbeat recipe from De Cecco pasta, this dish is a perfect way to use up summer squash. A touch of honey and nutmeg sweeten and balance the creamy ricotta and salty pine nut-tarragon sauce.


1 pound pasta
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves
1/2 cup grated Pecorino cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large ice cubes
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium zucchini or summer squash
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup sheep\'s milk ricotta
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Step 1
Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until still very al dente. Drain and set aside.

Step 2
In a food processor, combine the Pecorino, pine nuts, and tarragon. Drizzle in the olive oil with the machine running to make a pesto. Pulse in the ice cubes to thin. Set aside in a not-too-warm place until ready to use.

Step 3
Slice the squash into coins. Sauté in the butter over medium heat for just a few minutes until barely soft. Add the honey and season with salt and pepper; cook for one more minute then remove from the heat.

Step 4
Stir the nutmeg into the ricotta.

Step 5
Add the warm cooked pasta to the sauté pan with the zucchini. Add the ricotta and the tarragon pesto. Season with salt and pepper. Warm briefly and toss over the heat, then remove from the heat and serve. (Optional: Add a bit of torn fresh tarragon leaves as a garnish.)