top of page
  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Farfalle with Zucchini, Tomato & Ricotta | Simple & Delicious Pasta Recipe

This simple (but delicious!) recipe is a perfect example of how to quickly cook a complete dish in the amount of time the pasta itself takes to boil. We'll go into some detail on how to maximize your timing efficiency and you can use these principles to make pasta preparation much quicker in future recipes!

For a lighter/vegan alternative simply omit the ricotta.

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:

Serves 2.

For this recipe, you will need:

- 2 servings farfalle pasta (we recommend about 160g)

- 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

- 1 clove garlic, peeled

- 1 medium zucchini

- 10 ripe cherry or grape tomatoes

- 3-4 leaves fresh basil

- Salt

- Fresh black pepper

- 100g (about 1/2 cup) ricotta cheese

First, put a large pot of water on to boil and cover so that it comes up to temp as quickly as possible.

While you're waiting for the water to boil, add the olive oil and peeled garlic clove into a non-stick pan and place over medium heat. While the olive oil heats up, prepare your vegetables by thinly slicing the zucchini and cutting the tomatoes in half.

Once you're done cutting the veggies, the olive oil should be hot and the garlic sizzling slightly. Remove the garlic from the oil and add the zucchini slices. Sprinkle a pinch of salt and pepper into the pan. Stir frequently.

At any point, once the water comes to a rolling boil, salt it well. Don't be afraid of the salt, here! We recommend 2-3 small handfuls. Add the pasta into the water and stir a few times to prevent sticking. If timing your pasta according to the package directions, set your timer now.

After the zucchini has sautéed for 1-2 minutes, the slices should begin to soften slightly. Add the tomatoes and a few torn leaves of basil. Stir all together.

Continue to cook the sauce, stirring occasionally. The juices from the tomatoes should keep it well hydrated, but if it dries out too much and risks burning, ladle a small amount of pasta water into the pan as necessary.

After a few minutes, the tomatoes should soften just enough that they can be easily crushed with a fork. Do so. If the pasta still requires a little more time to finish cooking, turn off the heat beneath the sauce.

When the pasta is al dente to your taste, use a slotted spoon to transfer it into the sauce. Stir all together over medium/high heat until the sauce completely coats the pasta.

Once again, if the sauce seems a little too dry simply add a bit of pasta water. Alternatively, if you add too much water or the sauce seems too soupy, simply turn up the heat and stir until the excess moisture burns off.

Turn off the heat and add the ricotta cheese. Stir all together until the cheese is well mixed in. Serve immediately and top with some torn basil (optional).

Buon appetito!


May 27, 2022

Just WOW!!!! I have never made my own sauce. Always purchased pre made jarred sauces. Eva, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this wonderful recipe. It has opened my eyes and will from now make my own sauces. After watching a handful of videos you and Harper created, I have finally learned how amazing the Tomato truly are and with a little patience and practice you to can make amazing classic Italian dishes from scratch. Again thank you for explaining how easily it beautiful a dish like this truly can be.

With Love from the Portuguese Boy,

Gary A.


Hollis Ramsey
Hollis Ramsey
Feb 28, 2022

I grew up eating what we called Bows and Cheese: farfalle with cottage cheese, butter, and salt. It’s great right away, but it’s fantastic reheated in butter or oil until the pasta gets brown and crisp, and the cheese gets all melty and stringy. Hmm, tonight’s dinner!


Sep 19, 2021

Bravo Eva! I just made this recipe for dinner, since zucchini is in season and plentiful. It was delicious, easy and unlike anything I’ve ever tasted! I can’t wait to try some of your other recipes.


Aug 24, 2021

I made this with a homemade ricotta. Eva, do you have any tips on how to make a more flavorful ricotta? I made mine with full fat grass fed milk and vinegar (I ran out of lemon).

Aug 25, 2021
Replying to

Thank you! Oh I’ll track it down lol. I look forward to trying it, I love a good ricotta.


Joshua Sims
Joshua Sims
Jun 11, 2021

Made this last night and it was a huge hit! Was watching the video with this dish, and realized as you were cooking it that I actually had all the ingredients in my kitchen already (except the ricotta, but it sounds better if I didn't say I had to go to the store just for ricotta cheese)! Anyway, put this together exactly as you said, and it was outstanding. Thank you so much for your videos and your recipes, we love them!

bottom of page