5 Ingredients or Fewer

Summer Squash Sauce with Pasta

May 26, 2021
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Invariably, someone you know will give you a baseball bat-sized squash every summer, or you will purchase summer squash only to find a box of zucchinis on your doorstep the very same afternoon. Using up squash is the primary goal of many a kitchen each summer season. This recipe goes well over pasta, gnocchi, spätzle, or even white beans. Even my husband who strongly dislikes squash will eat a bowl full of this. —KaffeeAndKuchen

Test Kitchen Notes

This is yet another example of a recipe that does not have to be complicated to be brilliant! I was fortunate to have just made some gnocchi, so this dish took less than 30 minutes from prep to table. So few ingredients, but so very light and tasty! The hint of freshly ground nutmeg is also a great addition. No question what to do with an abundance of squash; make this dish! —Chef Lisa

What You'll Need
  • 2 to 3 medium zucchini or summer squash
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 dash nutmeg, or to taste
  • 1 pound Pasta or gnocchi
  • Parmesan cheese, to serve (optional)
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. While it comes up to temperature, grate the zucchini using the large holes on a box grater.
  2. In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt butter into the olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the grated squash and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Sauté until soft, and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes. Add a dash of ground nutmeg to taste.
  3. As the squash mixture cooks, cook the pasta or gnocchi to al dente, then use a slotted spoon to scoop it from the water directly into the sauté pan with the squash. Cook for another minute or so in the pan, then serve. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese or with a splash of good olive oil.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kit Bruce
    Kit Bruce
  • Lorenagena
  • Leah
  • Stephanie

4 Reviews

Kit B. August 28, 2020
I've been riffing on this recipe all summer and it's been a hit with the whole house, including a housemate who claimed they didn't like zucchini. Success!

Also: if you mix in a dollop or two of something like ricotta cheese, this makes an amazing filling for ravioli or stuffed shells.
Lorenagena August 18, 2016
I made this last night for my family as a way to get others to eat some of my zucchini I've been grazing thru! It was a hit and plenty left over. Very tasty and no complaints about "more zucchini? " lol!
Leah December 23, 2015
This recipe really was amazing, but I would like to say that this does NOT serve 6. Try 16, or maybe 60! Ok, that's an exaggeration. I made this on a Saturday evening and we (two adults and a small child) are still eating it for dinner on this Wednesday evening. We eat about 12 oz of pasta combined. It's nice that I can get creative with add-ins. Remember, cooked pasta swells to about 3x the dry volume so a pound of pasta makes a ton of food!
Stephanie September 10, 2015
I was one of the Community Picks testers. My boyfriend and I loved it!

This recipe highlights that lovely time at the end of summer, where garden bounty seems endless. Quick and easy, this is a perfect weeknight dinner. I had some fresh herbs (basil and parsley) so I chopped them and sprinkled on top before serving. I can't wait to try it with white beans as KaffeeAndKuchen suggests - or maybe even some brown rice and sausage.