Summer Pasta Salad


Orecchiette with Zucchini, Corn, Cherry Tomatoes, Basil & Bacon

Intro Collage

After days {weeks?} of  gray skies, heavy fog, mist and unseasonably cool temperatures, we were blessed today with abundant sunshine and warmth.  French doors were open all day and into the evening inviting in a gentle sea breeze which swept through the house filling it with the scent of salty air.  Working in the garden this afternoon, staking my tomato plants {which have grown taller now than I}, the sound of flocking seagulls and the sight of sparkling blue water were welcome distractions…it felt like summer.

This evening’s pasta salad really is a celebration of summer foods…juicy cherry tomatoes, sweet summer corn, tender zucchini, peppery basil…

Veggie Collage

This same dish, prepared in let’s say, January, I believe just would not have the same sweet flavors as our salad tonight.  The best part…none of the vegetables are cooked.  Sliced or grated, they are added to the salad raw being only slightly “cooked” from the heat of the prepared pasta.  To make things easier this evening, I used bacon which I had cooked for last night’s dinner {BLT’s}.  I made extra and reserved the pan drippings to be used in our dish tonight…


After a generous grating of fresh Parmesan cheese…


All that was left to do was cook the pasta…


And gently toss everything together…


The final dish was refreshingly light with a surprising sweetness from the combination of tomatoes, corn and zucchini.  The saucer-shaped orecchiette captured the bits of vegetables and cheese making every bite flavor-packed.  this will definitely be on the menu again soon…


Summer Pasta Salad {adapted from Food52}

  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and cut crosswise into ¼-inch pieces & drippings reserved
  • 3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 3 ears corn, kernels cut from the cobs, juices and all
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped or torn basil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and pushed through a garlic press
  • Olive oil, if needed
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil. 
  2. Meanwhile, grate the summer squash on a box grater. Gather the gratings in a bowl and salt the squash, adding about 1 ½ teaspons coarse kosher salt. Toss to mix. Let sit for at least 10 minutes, and up to 30 minutes.
  3. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta but don’t shake it; you want a little pasta water to help create a sauce. Pour it back in the pot.
  4. Take fistfuls of the squash and squeeze it as firmly as possible to extract any liquid. Add the pressed squash to the pasta. Continue until all the grated squash has been squeezed. Then scrape the corn into the pot, and add the bacon as well as 2 tablespoons of reserved {warm} bacon fat.  Add the  tomatoes, basil and garlic. Toss the pasta. Adjust the seasoning, adding more salt if needed as well as a few grinds of fresh pepper. Toss again. If the pasta still seems dry, you can add a drizzle of olive oil at this point. Spoon into shallow bowls and top grated, cheese.  Serve immediately.

K Initial


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Print Friendly

Post Your Comment