8 ounces orecchiette, or other shaped pasta such as farfalle or shells
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 small head cauliflower, cored and divided into bite-size florets (about 3 cups)
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed chile flakes
2 tablespoons white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook it 1 minute less than package instructs. Reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta.
In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower, season with 1 teaspoon salt, reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until it loses its raw white color 2 to 3 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium-high and drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add zucchini and cook until the veggies start to brown, 3 - 4 minutes. Don't move them around too much; just toss them halfway through the cooking to get the color on the other side. Season with another 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the garlic and chile flakes (if using). Cook until the garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine (if using) or 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and scrape up browned bits in the bottom of the pan.
Add pasta, butter, and 2 more tablespoons of pasta water and cook, shaking pan and stirring often, until pasta is al dente and butter is melted, about 1 minute.
Divide the pasta among bowls and top each with a few dollops of ricotta. Serve sprinkled with the mint.