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If you can't find ditali (a short-cut pasta tube rather like a half-size rigatoni), penne or small rigatoni work equally well. You can add garlic and chilies to the zucchini for a punchier flavour, although they were not used in the original recipe.

Servings: Four as an appetizer, two as a main course

Ready time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

4 small zucchini or 2 large, sliced in rounds

salt and freshly ground pepper

8 ounces (226 grams) ditali or rigatoni

1 cup soft ricotta

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano

Method

Place a pan onto medium heat. Add oil, heat and then and onion, sautéing until softened, about 2 minutes. Toss zucchini with onion and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the pan. Remove lid after about 15 minutes. Keep cooking until zucchini browns lightly and all the liquid has evaporated. Place pasta in plenty of lightly salted boiling water. Cook according to package directions or until al dente. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Transfer pasta to a bowl and toss with zucchini and ricotta, lightly mashed with a fork. Add enough pasta cooking water to keep mixture moist and stir in half of the Parmigiano. Sprinkle with remaining Parmigiano and serve hot.

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