I walked out of yoga tonight and glanced at my phone to find an outpouring of new love on my Insta over this Summer Squash and Basil Pasta with Lemon Zest! My dear childhood friend (and blogger-extraordinaire), Sivan Ayla made this pasta dish tonight per my recommendation and shared the results on her IG stories. Shortly thereafter I received a multitude of lovely messages from Sivan's community requesting the recipe. So if you're here from Sivan's page seeking squash pasta, welcome to Beccalani, you're in the right spot! I made this recipe last night for my husband when we wanted something savory and satisfying that didn't take up much time, or require tons of ingredients. The result was absolutely perfect. The combination of sweet summer squash, tart lemon, and bright Aleppo-pepper, with nutty parmesan, is just to-die-for on a warm August evening. Truth be told, my husband doesn't even really like squash and he gobbled up this dish!
Sorry for the single iPhone pic, but I am posting this on the fly due to high demand!
I adapted this recipe from this one by Bon Appétit. I've put my own spin on it based off of what I had in my cupboard. For the original version, please click here.
Summer Squash and Basil Pasta with Lemon Zest
Adapted from Bon Appétit
4 tablespoons olive oil (I'm obsessed with Wonder Valley evoo)
2 lbs summer squash halved-lengthwise and sliced (green or yellow zucchini work great!)
8 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon Aleppo-pepper, plus more to taste (a mild Turkish pepper, you can find in middle eastern grocery stores, or on Amazon, here)
flaky sea salt
12 oz package dry penne pasta (or other large round pasta)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Squeeze of 1/2 a lemon (about 1-2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (I use this Microplane zester to lightly remove the lemon zest, and careful not to get any of the bitter white pith)
1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. I personally like to use a cast iron skillet, but any heavy-bottom skillet with do. Sauté the garlic until softened and lightly browned, about 4 minutes.
Adjust the heat to medium-high add the sliced squash to the skillet and season with salt, continue cooking until the squash gets very soft. Some slices will breakdown and create a “jammy” consistency. This take about 15 minutes. Season with the Aleppo-pepper.
Next in a separate pot cook the penne pasta according to the directions on the package. Be sure to salt your pasta water liberally (it should taste like the sea… no kidding).
Once the penne is cooked till al-dente, transfer it to the skillet with a slotted spoon and add about 4 tablespoons or more of the pasta water, this helps to coat the noodles with the squash mixture and create a creamy sauce. Add half of the parmesan, the squeeze of lemon juice, lemon zest, and half of the basil, toss to combine.
Spoon the pasta onto a large serving platter, or into shallow bowls. Top with the rest of the parmesan, more Aleppo-pepper, and any remaining basil leaves.
Serve with a simple caprese salad or baby kale salad with cherry tomatoes as pictured above!