Penne with Grilled Zucchini and Mint
Penne with Grilled Zucchini and mint is the perfect summer pasta — few ingredients, easy prep, big flavors. Ricotta salata is a firm cheese with a mildly salty flavor. It’s available at some supermarkets and specialty foods stores, and at Italian markets.
- 2 pounds small zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise
- Extra-virgin olive oil (for brushing)
- Coarse kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, thinly sliced
- 2 pinches of dried crushed red pepper
- 1 pound penne or ziti pasta
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup crumbled ricotta salata (salted dry ricotta cheese; about 3 ounces)
- Prepare grill (medium-high heat). Arrange zucchini on rimmed baking sheet; brush all over with oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper. Grill zucchini until tender, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to work surface; cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces. Place in large serving bowl. Add vinegar, mint, and crushed red pepper; set aside.
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Add pasta to zucchini mixture, then add 3 tablespoons olive oil and ricotta salata and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper.