Summer Vegetable Ricotta Pesto Pasta flatlay

Summer Vegetable Ricotta Pesto Pasta

Summer dinners aren't just about grilling, and this Summer Vegetable Ricotta Pesto Pasta proves it! Fresh zucchini, tomatoes, and basil pesto team up with creamy ricotta and your favorite pasta in a dreamy summer dinner that's perfect for date night!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword pesto pasta
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 989kcal
Author Erica


  • 1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts
  • 2 cups basil packed, plus more for garnish
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus more if needed
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 12 ounces pasta fettucine or linguine
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 1 zucchini sliced
  • 1 yellow squash sliced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes plus more for garnish


  • Toast pine nuts or walnuts in a skillet set over medium heat until golden, tossing occasionally. 
  • Add the nuts to the bowl of a blender or food processor with fresh basil, minced garlic, and Parmesan. Pulse until finely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • With the blender/processor running, drizzle the olive oil in a thin stream until the pesto comes together and is well combined. Drizzle more if needed to reach your desired consistency. Season to taste with salt.
  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta as directed on box to al dente. Drain and reserve 3/4 cup pasta water.
  • Saute diced onion, zucchini, and tomatoes in a large skillet over medium heat until soft, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in half the pasta water, ricotta cheese, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Stir until creamy, adding more pasta water as needed. Add pesto and stir to combine.
  • Add pasta to skillet and toss with sauce and veggies. Serve with more grated parmesan and red pepper.


This recipe would be equally delicious with some protein. Try adding sliced chicken breast or crumbled Italian sausage for a meaty meal option.


Calories: 989kcal | Carbohydrates: 111g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 382mg | Potassium: 1241mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 2650IU | Vitamin C: 68.1mg | Calcium: 434mg | Iron: 4.6mg