Thursday, August 16, 2012

Summer Weekend Pasta

If this Summer Weekend Pasta had tomatoes in it I'd call it summer in a bowl. Tomatoes, zucchini and corn signify summer to me. I can't get enough of any of them from June to August.

This was a great, simple pasta to throw together. I think I'm going insane because the bacon almost seemed superfluous. How is that possible? I found myself thinking if only I'd left it out this would be a vegetarian meal.

I used regular green zucchini and upped the corn to 3 ears because Baby Girl was snacking on the corn kernels as I prepped dinner. I also upped the garlic to 3 cloves and minced it so I could leave it in rather than remove a whole clove after cooking. I decided to saute the corn and zucchini rather than leave it raw. I did find the pasta to be a little dry since there really isn't any sauce, but a little extra pasta water or even chicken (vegetable) broth would fix that.

Summer Weekend Pasta
Slightly modified from Food 52

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

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Save 1 cup of the cooking liquid, then drain the pasta and set aside.

Grate the zucchini on a box grater. Gather the gratings in a bowl and salt the squash, about 1 1/2 teaspons coarse kosher salt. Toss to mix. Let sit for at least 10 minutes, and up to 30 minutes. Place zucchini in a clean kitchen towel and ring dry. You want to remove as much of a liquid as you can.

Meanwhile, spread the bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat and cook until the bacon is crispy. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. If there are more than 2 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan, remove the extra fat so you are left with only 2 tablespoons. Add the zucchini, corn and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the red pepper flakes.

Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss. Adjust the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper. Add the bacon and basil. Toss again. If the pasta seems dry, add some of the reserved pasta cooking water. Spoon into shallow bowls and top with grated cheese.
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  1. This looks really delicious. I must test to see if it will work in the cooking classes I teach!

  2. I made this tonight. In addition to the ingredients listed above, I added 1 shallot and fresh tomato and fresh oregano from my garden. It was a hit with the family. Grandma even had seconds and she hardly eats what most people would consider a serving. I cut the zucchini in half circles and didn't squeeze the moisture out. I also added about 1/3 cup of the pasta water and it was delicious.


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