Cooking From Every Angle

Summer Weekend Pasta

By • July 16, 2012 • 27 Comments

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Summer Weekend Pasta

My husband, Tad, and I are always working on a pasta dish. There is no beginning and there is no end. It's a once-a-week dinner that we've been making for years, and each time we tweak it, depending on what's in season, what's in the fridge, what's going on in our work-addled heads. It usually begins with bacon or pancetta. When Tad's at the helm, canned tomatoes will likely find their way into the pan, and if it's my turn, a pinch of crushed chiles. We've drifted from penne to rigatone to orecchiette to shells. We like shapes that our kids can easily spear with a fork. Sometimes eggs get tossed in for a little carbonara effect. And, occasionally, Tad will slip in goat cheese in his mother's honor (she made an excellent pasta with asparagus and goat cheese). There's never a recipe because we never stop the music, we never let the ingredients race to their seats to get counted.

Cutting bacon Grating summer squash

Cutting corn from the cob Browning the bacon

But this week, I thought it was time to put the pasta on record. We'd hit on a new summer variation that was pretty nifty. We've gotten into adding grated summer squash, which nestles into orechiette's little cups. Mixing fresh squash into hot pasta is an excellent way to produce soggy pasta; we drain the swamp by first salting the grated squash to draw out its water, and squeezing out the gratings before adding them to the steaming pasta. The base is bacon, of course, with a pinch of red pepper flakes and a smashed garlic clove. And to underline the sweetness and freshness of the dish, we fold in some fresh-scraped corn and chopped basil. The dish is part vegetable, part pasta -- buoyant, bright, and just what we crave on a steamy summer evening.

Squeezing the liquid from the squash Mixing the pasta

Pulling the basil leaves from the stems Chopping the basil

Summer Weekend Pasta

Serves 4

  • Salt
  • 6 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3 medium yellow zucchini, ends trimmed
  • 1 pound orecchiette or small shells
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cobs, juices and all
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped or torn basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil, if needed.
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Summer Weekend Pasta

Photos by James Ransom

Tags: pasta, summer, summer squash

Comments (27)

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over 1 year ago Arianamarie

Why is there no Save Recipe or Print on this recipe? I want to make it!

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over 1 year ago Arianamarie

Nevermind - I found them!

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over 1 year ago galsmu

Love this recipe! Have made it several times now and have passed it along to my daughters who have also made it. I typically use green zucchini, add another ear of corn , and mix in more Parmesan.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Glad it's such a family hit!

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over 1 year ago smslaw

We made the summer pasta for dinner over the weekend and it was a big hit. One change I'll make next time is to use much less salt to draw moisture from the squash. Even though I rinsed it, the dish was too salty for my taste. That didn't stop me from enjoying leftovers for lunch today.
We used zucchini, not yellow squash and used corn that was left over from the previous evenings corn on the cob.

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over 1 year ago TavolaMediterranea

Beautiful recipe! I too am a fan of orecchiette. If you ever get the time to make the pasta itself from scratch, here's a great recipe for it: http://tavolamediterranea... Adorable little things... and the texture once boiled is amazing!

~ Farrell
www.tavolamediterranea...

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almost 2 years ago elysia

Threw some sauteed garlic scapes along with the corn and squash - absolutely fantastic receipe!!!

Roastingpiglets01

almost 2 years ago BirdMonk

Thanks for sharing! A couple of quick summer pasta dishes I was introduced to when I was living in Italy - both for penne - would involve a) sautéing mashed garlic cloves in olive oil until golden, adding thinly sliced zucchini and lightly browning them, draining on paper towel and then adding them to the penne pasta and tossing together with crushed pistachio nuts and chopped fresh mint leaves and b) adding the best canned tuna you can find (i'm partial to Sardinian) to the olive oil with sautéd garlic, sautéing the tuna in the oil & garlic, add a splash of white wine and cook off the alcohol and then add the tuna to the penne pasta and toss with some capers and thinly sliced pieces of lemon peel.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Love these ideas -- will try them!

Roastingpiglets01

almost 2 years ago BirdMonk

Great, Amanda! One thing I realized after my initial post is that since for me - as I would imagine for most people here - seasoning is a matter of taste (pardon the bad pun :-) I didn't refer to salt or pepper, for example. It's been my experience with these dishes that salted pistachios and the tuna provide them with enough salt for me. And as far as measurements for the ingredients I've always used my eye to judge the proportionate relationship between everything that goes into them - i.e. one would want to have some of everything in each fork- / -spoonful...buon appetito!

Chocolate_peppermint_truffle_cookies_032

almost 2 years ago TheWimpyVegetarian

Gorgeous and looks delicious. I think I'm looking at tonight's dinner! Thanks!!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hope it turned out well!

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almost 2 years ago muireann

adding another request for identification of the corn tool!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

It's a corn peeler made by OXO!

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almost 2 years ago susanm

oh yum! looks awesome. i am of the same mindset when it comes to weekly pasta...i don't think i've ever made the same one twice. last week it was farmers market swiss chard and shaved fennel sauteed in olive oil, garlic & red pepper flakes. topped with lemon zest, pecorino romano, torn basil, lots of pepper and fresh olive oil. on orecchiette, of course.
weekly pasta soothes the soul!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

That sound fantastic.

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almost 2 years ago Muse

This looks amazing...can't wait to try it!

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almost 2 years ago Foodiewithalife

Loving this recipe; what is the cool corn de-cobber??

Christina
www.foodiewithalife.com

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

It's made by OXO | http://www.amazon.com/OXO...

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almost 2 years ago GossipGal

Amanda: Is that an ice cream scoop or a special la- dee-dah corn cobber? But, whatever it is, I want one.

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almost 2 years ago GingerB

Love this pasta dish. As a vegetarian, I wanted to keep the color and add a flavor punch so I added roasted radicchio instead of bacon! Yummie!

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almost 2 years ago EmilyC

Love the looks of this pasta and appreciate the fork spearing consideration for kiddos (well, and for moms and dads eating leftovers the next day at work!). Definitely trying this one...you simply can't have too many (good) ways to use squash in the summer.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

True, true.

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almost 2 years ago jmddc

This sounds delicious and I have all of the ingredients on hand. Love knowing what dinner is going to be early in the day!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Me, too -- glad I could help!

Mcs

almost 2 years ago mcs3000

Beautiful piece. Love it. ps. Wish Tad would post more. Those potatoes of his are genius.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I shared your comment with him -- he said "Oh, pshaw."