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Summer Squash and Basil Pasta

Summer Squash and Basil Pasta

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Sautéed squash eventually gets jammy and saucy if cooked long enough, ideal as a way to coat big pieces of pasta. This recipe is part of the Healthyish Farmers’ Market Challenge. Get all 10 recipes here.


  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds assorted summer squashes and zucchini, quartered lengthwise, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo-style pepper, plus more for serving
  • 12 ounces paccheri, ziti, or other large tube pasta
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup basil leaves, divided

Recipe Preparation

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook garlic, stirring occasionally, until very lightly browned around the edges, about 4 minutes. Add squash and increase heat to medium high; season with salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until squash begins to break down. Turn down heat once it begins sticking, and continue to cook until the squash is jammy and soft, 12–15 minutes. Toss in 1 tsp. Aleppo-style pepper.

  • Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente.

  • Transfer pasta to skillet with squash using a slotted spoon or spider and add ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook pasta, adding 2 oz. Parmesan in stages along with more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. Toss in lemon juice and most of the basil.

  • Divide pasta among bowls and top with more Parmesan and Aleppo-style pepper and remaining basil.

Nutritional Content

Calories (kcal) 550Fat (g) 21Saturated Fat (g) 5Cholesterol (mg) 20Carbohydrates (g) 73Dietary Fiber (g) 6Total Sugars (g) 8Protein (g) 18Sodium (mg) 220Reviews SectionThis dish really lets the squash shine and I used Italian heirloom 'Costata Romanesco' for the first time. (Wow). I agree with other reviewers that you should use less pasta and and more lemon. I used Costo whole wheat spaghetti and it still turned out really well. Had some pecorino I needed to use so threw some in in addition to the 2oz of parm and instead of Aleppo I used a combo Silk Chili, Black Urfa Chili, and Smoked Paprika.SnicklefrtizColorado08/12/20So tasty and such a great way to use up some of the summer squash and zucchini we’re drowning in come late July. Like others said, 8oz of pasta is likely all that’s required. I make sure that a bit of brown crust appears in the pan when cooking the veg, deglazing with pasta water to mix all that goodness into the sauce that develops. Love the subtle, earthy heat of Aleppo pepper, but suspect smoked paprika/some red pepper flakes would do as well. A summer recipe keeper for sure. Salt with care as the pasta water and cheese add quite a bit on their own. I just added a pinch more.AnonymousNew Hampshire 08/02/20This was delicious- loved the “jammy” squash. As was mentioned by some of the reviewers, I used 8oz pasta and added an extra 1/2 Tbsp of lemon juice and some zest. I didn’t have Aleppo pepper so substituted sweet paprika and cayenne in the ratio of 3:1. I would definitely make it again.Susan ThorntonArlington VA08/01/20Really delicious. Used 8 oz pasta and double the lemon and it was perfect. Do be careful salting the pasta water - I had to use quite a bit for the sauce and probably ended up a touch too salty with the final dish.AnonymousRochester, NY07/17/20This was delicious. Aleppo pepper and summer squash are a perfect pair. Used rotini pasta. Lovely.KerraBERichmond, VA07/14/20I've made this many times now and have found that cutting the squash much thinner than it looks in the picture helps speed up the cooking process. I found that at a higher heat the squash can cook in ~30 minutes but it requires constant attention so it cooks evenly. I prefer to put it on a low heat- takes substantially longer but requires much less attention. I cook it until it's essentially unrecognizably squash.I often eat the sauce not with pasta, but instead on salads, on toast with ricotta, on top of hummus, mixed w yogurt as a dip, etc. I get a lot of summer squash from my CSA and this is basically the only way I like to eat itAnonymousSouth Carolina06/23/20This was delicious! Only small changes based on reviews - added 2 tbsps lemon, and zest of one lemon to main pot. And then added a squeeze of lemon over pasta along with cheese, pepper etc at the end. It needs that extra kick. I used 8oz tagliatelle which worked well. Will definitely be making this again!!This is great.I made this exactly as the recipe indicated but I did also add one yellow squash because I had it. Then I tried it with baby new potatoes instead of pasta, this time with all zucchini. It was equally delish. This is definitely the way to eat zucchini and yellow squash!Monica LombardiVirginia Beach, VA05/25/20I found like the other reviewers noted that the pasta to sauce proportions are off, the basil and lemon don't pop. So here is what I loved about this recipe, I accidentally put too much olive oil in the pan so while my squash was getting jammy (which did take closer to 45min) my garlic actually became garlic confit which was fantastic. Plus with the extra olive oil the pasta was well coated with flavour. Next time I make this I would definitely add the basil in as a garnish and when the pasta is slightly cooled so the basil doesn't wilt with the heat. I think the only purpose of the lemon is to make the dish feel less heavy and oily which I think it does perfectly and wouldn't want any more lemony flavour against the sweetness of the squash and garlic. The best part of the dish was that it is so satisfying - you don't need to eat a lot to feel full.MK16Regina, SK, Canada 09/16/19Pretty good use of a bumper crop of zucchini! I thought the basil and lemon were lost and would amp them up. I did use the zest of one lemon, in addition to juice.Very good! I love finding new recipes to use up summer garden gifts. I was given two beautiful crookneck squash and always have fresh basil on hand. I chose ziti for my tuber pasta. I probably could have used more squash because by the time I peeled, cored and sliced the squash I was down to about 1.5c. I used cayenne pepper and also added a generous splash of white wine just before combining the pasta. It was Deeeee-lish!Marita GaudiniPhiladelphia08/12/19Yes, I'll make this recipe again! Love zucchini, love basil, love garlic, love parmesan. Started hot in my12" iron skillet, then low and slow. Added one zucch 15 min. before serving because I wanted some with a bite. One Tb lemon juice is perfect, brightens the sauce up, and eight cloves garlic mellowed nicely with the low and slow 35 min. The Aleppo gives a good kick. Fresh grated parm and fresh picked and snipped basil finished it, delicious. Just piled some on a couple bowls of angel hair,and that's dinner. I think I'll make another and just eat it by itself, it's that good. Thanks, Mr Morocco and Bon Appetit!denise moringFlorida08/07/19This is the BEST way to cook zucchini. Period. I loved this dish last summer and have loved making it again this summer!AnonymousNew York 07/15/19yummy yummy yummy! I used 4 medium yellow summer squash and about 6oz (dry) pasta, and just added everything else to taste. I wanted the squash to be really, really jammy and barely recognizable as squash so it took quite a bit longer but turned out really, really delicious. Will definitely be making this again and again this summer.AnonymousAtlanta, GA07/10/19Really good recipe, it needs some help adjusting the profound lack of lemon flavor though. So what I did was juice and lest an entire average size lemon, which was 2 tbsp of juice, the zest I didn't measure, and add all of it to the dish. That added a good lemon presence to the plate. Anything less and the lemon is just irrelevant. And lastly the vegetable/pasta ratio is sadly unbalanced, unless you just want pasta in your pasta. I simply reduced the pasta to 8 oz and found that to be perfect.AnonymousModesto, CA07/01/19So delicious on a summer night on the patio. fresh basil, fettuccini a salad. Dinner done.Anonymousphiladelphia, pa06/28/19Relatively inexpensive and short on ingredients, I will definitely make this again. I used 6 medium sized squash, but could have used more, as the squash to pasta ratio was off (especially because most pasta at my grocery store is more along the lines of being a 16 oz box rather than 12oz). It took closer to 45 minutes for my squash to get "jammy". It probably would help to cut the pieces much smaller than is vaguely described in the recipe. If you use yellow squash it blends in well, so it may be an easy way to sneak it by children as a pleasing family meal.I made this tonight for me and my husband as one last pasta-fix before starting our low carb eating plan. We LOVE pasta. My husband said, “How am I supposed to give up pasta when you make something as delicious as this?” This recipe is EXCELLENT. My squash got to that perfect “jammy” consistency in 15 mins and put the rest of it together lickity-split. I could serve this to my 16 year old son and he’d never know he was eating squash. I did add extra fresh basil and Parmesan. Love the Aleppo pepper in and on this. Thanks for a GREAT recipe!AnonymousJacksonville, Florida06/18/19i have been cooking zucchini like this for years and years and don't understand when people tell me they don't like zucchini.... until they give me watery zucchini and then i remember. It doesn't have to be this way.Delish! Probably added far too much cheese but it was all worth it. Also added twice the lemon juice. Didn't have Aleppo pepper so used cayenne + paprika. DID take a long time to make though!AnonymousRichmond, VA06/11/19I've made this a few times, and the last time I made it gluten-free and dairy-free by using lentil pasta and nutritional yeast in place of the parm. SO DAMN GOOD.AnonymousDallas, TX09/11/18This was SO good. I had my doubts, but made it because it looked like a beautiful dish from the photo. It was an easy and impressive weeknight date-night dinner for my boyfriend and I. There is a surprising amount of flavor and depth to this dish, and I like how hands off the whole cooking process is. I'm adding this to my summer rotation for dinner recipes.AnonymousOakland, CA08/24/18I like to shred zucchini and mix into pastas and grains. Cooks & gets jammy faster than chopped. I assume you combine the pasta and zucchini at the end though it doesn't say.

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