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The easiest tomato + zucchini summer pasta


Back again with another “no recipe recipe”– I whipped up this easy summer pasta the other night and you all voted for a blog post with how to make it–so here we are!

The inspo behind this one is a summer side dish I grew up with–sautéed zucchini with tomatoes, onion, garlic, and butter. (Optional: you can also add dill!)

It’s one of my favorite things to eat ever–especially with fresh tomatoes and good quality butter–my mom would often make it with produce picked right out of our garden–to this day it might be the #1 thing that tastes like “summer” to me.

I was wanting something that was equally as easy to throw together, and I thought I’d combine it all with pasta! The result is a satisfying yet light bowl of deliciousness.

How to make it:

The veggies:

Sauté chopped onions and a couple cloves of minced garlic (depending on how much you like garlic) in some butter (you can also use olive oil for a lighter version, or sometimes I’ll use half of each, but it really tastes the best with at least a little bit of butter!)

Let the onions sweat until translucent. Add in the zucchini and chopped up tomatoes. (If you’re new here, we don’t measure things, we just eyeball them LOL. Use as many tomatoes as you have on hand and remember they will reduce down!) I tend to love using cherry tomatoes as they’re sweeter and the texture is always the best, but you can use whatever kind of fresh tomatoes you have! Season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook until zucchini is al dente. (The pasta water you’ll be using is pretty salty so use less salt than you normally would).

Optional adds: If you have any fresh summer corn, that is also DELICIOUS thrown in here too! Additionally, this would be great with sautéed chicken or crumbled Italian sausage if you’d like more protein! (I like to cube chicken breast in small pieces, toss very lightly in flour, salt, pepper, and sauté over medium high heat.) Or, if you have leftover rotisserie chicken, you can throw that in too. Another idea would be to top with grilled chicken! Lots of options and ways to make it your own.

The pasta:

At the same time, bring a pot of water to a boil and season it with salt until it tastes like the ocean. This step is the most important one to making flavorful pasta! I taste the water every time to make sure I have enough salt. Cook whatever pasta you like to JUST al-dente (you’ll cook it a little more when you throw it all together, so you don’t want to overcook it) according to package instructions. You can use whatever kind of pasta you have on hand. I used Campanelle pasta here, which I particularly love, but this would be good with any pasta shape!

HEADS UP: We’re going to reserve 1 cup of pasta water, so make sure you remember that before you drain your pasta! Why? Because pasta water is what brings the sauce together–making it thick and silky!

Bring it all together:

Combine the drained pasta and the veggies together in one pan over medium heat, slowly trickling in the pasta water until combined and you get the desired thickness you like. (You will not use the full cup! Just add a little at a time until you get it how you like it!) Stir until incorporated and simmer for a minute or two until the pasta is perfectly cooked to your liking. Dish in a big bowl and top with lots of freshly grated parm.

Optional: Serve with a green salad and a vinegary dressing to counter balance the deliciously salty pasta! (See how I make my homemade salad dressing here!)

And that’s it! So easy, and such a crowd pleaser. If you make it, I would love to see–make sure to tag me on IG stories so I can re-share!



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