Aggie's Kitchen

Whole Wheat Pasta with Ricotta, Zucchini and Walnuts

Pasta with ricotta was a childhood favorite of mine. This Whole Wheat Pasta with Ricotta, Zucchini and Walnuts is a simple and flavorful pasta meal your family will love.

A childhood favorite of mine (with a twist) - Whole Wheat Pasta with Ricotta, Zucchini and Walnuts. Recipe via aggieskitchen.com #FisherUnshelled

This Whole Wheat Pasta with Ricotta, Zucchini and Walnuts was made in partnership with Fisher Nuts in honor of my mom for Mother’s Day. This dish is a twist on a classic recipe my mom made me all the time growing up!

One dinner I always remember eating when I was younger was pasta with ricotta. It may seem a little different to you, but to me it was basically my family’s Italian version of your everyday blue box mac and cheese. Total comfort food in my book.

My mom has always been the Queen of pulling together fast dinners with whatever is on hand. I like to think I inherited this quality from her – dinner on the fly is something that I can pull of when I need to, it’s something I take pride in being good at (thanks Mom!). It seems that ricotta was one ingredient my mom always had in the fridge because we ate it constantly growing up, stirred into pasta like this for dinner or just scooped into a bowl with a little sugar sprinkled on top as a snack (or in cannolis for dessert!). In fact, I was inspired by my childhood consumption of ricotta when I created this recipe for Honey Almond Ricotta Spread just last year.

A childhood favorite of mine (with a twist) - Whole Wheat Pasta with Ricotta, Zucchini and Walnuts. Recipe via aggieskitchen.com #FisherUnshelled

A childhood favorite of mine (with a twist) - Whole Wheat Pasta with Ricotta, Zucchini and Walnuts. Recipe via aggieskitchen.com #FisherUnshelled

My daughter has the same love of ricotta as I do. She loves when I serve it with pasta (specifically pasta and meatballs!) and she, along with my youngest son, gobbled this dinner up when I made it for them the other night. I wanted to try something a little different than what my mom always made so I sauteed some zucchini to go with it and included chopped walnuts for some extra protein and crunch. Earthy walnuts pair up perfectly with ricotta, as well as zucchini, and my daughter made sure to tell me the walnuts in this pasta with ricotta dish was her favorite part. I loved the texture and flavor it added to the dish…and such a simple way to add it too!

This pasta is perfect for nights when you don’t want to think too hard about dinner, or even if you are cooking for your own mom on Mother’s Day this week. Be sure to season well with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper and of course lots of Parmesan cheese!

A childhood favorite of mine (with a twist) - Whole Wheat Pasta with Ricotta, Zucchini and Walnuts. Recipe via aggieskitchen.com #FisherUnshelled

I’d love to hear from you…what are some of your favorite meals your mom made you growing up?

Print Recipe

Pasta with Ricotta, Zucchini and Walnuts

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups uncooked whole wheat pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1/2 cup Fisher Nut Walnut Halves, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • big pinch coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add zucchini to pan and saute for 3-4 minutes. Season well with salt and pepper. Add walnuts and cook for 1-2 minutes longer, frequently stirring. Turn off heat.
  3. When pasta is ready, transfer to skillet using a slotted spoon so that some of the pasta water transfers along with it. (You could also drain pasta in a strainer but set aside a few tablespoons of water first, adding to skillet along with pasta.) Once cooked pasta is skillet, add ricotta to pasta and gently fold into pasta, zucchini and walnuts letting it melt in the heat of the skillet until creamy. Season pasta and ricotta well with salt and pepper. Serve with a generous amount of Parmesan cheese.

Follow AggiesKitchen on Instagram and show us what recipes you are making from the blog! Use the hashtag #aggieskitchen - I'd love to see what you are cooking up!

More easy summer weeknight meal ideas:

Summer Shrimp Scampi | From Valerie’s Kitchen

Chicken Zucchini Noodle Stir Fry | Two Peas and Their Pod

Sheet Pan Balsamic Shrimp and Summer Vegetables | Taste and Tell

Follow Aggie’s Kitchen’s board Pasta on Pinterest.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fisher. The opinions and text are all mine.

I have been working in partnership with Fisher Nuts for several years, creating recipes using their preservative free nuts.
Check out my recipes below or the recipes on Fisher Nuts’ website for more inspiration to include more nuts in your everyday meals:

Spring Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Walnuts

Toasted Almond Herbed Brown Rice

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Pecans

Asian Almond Slaw Salad

Apple, Celery and Walnut Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

Walnut and Blue Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Honey Almond Flax Granola

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8 Responses to “Whole Wheat Pasta with Ricotta, Zucchini and Walnuts”

  1. Nutmeg Nanny posted May 2, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    Growing up my mom and I always made mac and cheese together. It’s my favorite dish she makes and I LOVE stealing hot cheesy bites from the pan before my brothers could get into the kitchen 🙂 This pasta looks awesome and I LOVE the crunchy walnuts on top. I actually really love Fisher Nuts so I’m happy to see them used in the recipe. 

  2. Deborah posted May 3, 2016 at 12:12 am

    I’m all about simple these days, so this sounds so perfect!!

  3. Sandy Coughlin posted May 3, 2016 at 8:38 am

    I’m loving cooking with ricotta these days, too It’s so yummy. This looks fabulous Aggie!

  4. Kristen posted May 3, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Oh I love this twist on a classic…ricotta makes everything better!

  5. Megan {Country Cleaver} posted May 3, 2016 at 8:58 am

    We love whole wheat pasta in our house – but why did I never think to add walnuts to it?! Genius!

  6. Liz @ The Lemon Bowl posted May 3, 2016 at 9:00 am

    You always inspire me to buy ricotta cheese!!!! I need to get in the habit of always having it around for quick meals like this. YUM!

  7. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen posted May 6, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Ricotta is such a great idea for a creamy pasta sauce. I’ve been obsessed with buying the fresh made stuff from our local grocery store lately. I could eat the entire container. So delicious!

  8. Valerie | Valerie's Kitchen posted June 27, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    This is SO much my kind of meal! I’ve been really going nuts with the zucchini this summer and I love what you’ve done with this simple pasta dish. Delicious!

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