Vegetable Not-Zagna Pasta Toss

Vegetable Not-Zagna Pasta Toss
  • 6Servings


  • Coarse salt
  • 1 pound short curly pasta, such as campanelle by Barilla
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 small carrot
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), 2 turns of the pan
  • 1 8 ounce package sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 ounce green peas
  • 1 jarred roasted red pepperdrained, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (eyeball it)
  • 1 15 ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese (1-1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (a few generous handfuls), plus more to pass around the table
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (about 20 leaves), washed and dried


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt, then the pasta, and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes; drain. (Heads up: Reserve a ladle of the cooking water before you drain the pasta.)

While the pasta cooks, halve the zucchini lengthwise, then thinly slice into half-moons. Peel the carrot; then, holding the carrot at the root end, use the peeler to thinly slice lengthwise. Place the carrot strips on the cutting board and chop into small pieces-like carrot confetti!

Heat the EVOO, 2 turns of the pan, in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, carrot confetti and mushrooms to the skillet. Cook the vegetables for 3 minutes, tossing once, then add the onion and garlic to the pan. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and toss with tongs. When the onions are tender, about 5 minutes more, add the peas and roasted red pepper and toss to heat through. Transfer the veggies to a large dish.

Return the skillet to the stove over medium-low heat and add the butter. When the butter melts, add the flour and whisk for a minute or so, then whisk in the broth and milk. Bring to a bubble and thicken the sauce by letting it reduce for 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg. Slide the vegetables into the sauce.

Return the reserved ladle of pasta water to the pasta pot and bring it to a boil. Turn off the heat, stir in the ricotta, then add the grated cheese. Add the pasta to the cheeses. Top the pasta with the veggies and sauce, then toss to combine. Tear or shred the basil and toss into the pasta. Adjust the seasonings. Pass around the extra grated cheese at the table.