2ouncesgrated Parmesanpecorino or a mixture, about 1 cup, plus more for serving
i small handful cherry tomatoesoptional
Put a pot of water on to boil because you'll want to get that going while you work on the other steps. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onions and zucchini, season generously with salt and pepper, and continue cooking, stirring frequently until lightly browned and caramelized. Gently fold in optional cherry tomatoes and finally, turn off heat.
Meanwhile, use a mortar and pestle to pound garlic, basil and a little salt into a rough paste (or use a mini food processor). Stir in 3 tablespoons olive oil.
Add pasta to the boiling water and boil per package instructions but make sure to keep pasta quite al dente. Drain pasta,while reserving 1 cup of cooking water.
Add cooked pasta to zucchini in skillet and also turn heat to medium-high. Add ½ cup cooking water (or preferably, reserved whey from ricotta), then the ricotta, crushed red pepper and lemon zest, stirring to distribute. Check seasoning while adjusting if needed. Cook for 1 minute more. Mixture should finally look creamy. Add a little more pasta water or whey if necessary while using caution not to add too much liquid. Add the basil paste and also half the grated cheese. Quickly stir to incorporate. Spoon pasta into warm soup plates and finally sprinkle with additional cheese. Serve immediately.