Use your seasonal CSA box or farmers market haul to make this summer pasta loaded with fresh vegetables and herbs. Not only is it delicious and bursting with bright flavors, it can be on the table in under 20 minutes. It’s basically the perfect summer meal.
Summer Pasta Ingredients
The beauty of this summer pasta recipe is its versatility. The season of abundance (hey, summer!) means that anything goes – eggplant, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, or whatever else is lurking around the kitchen or garden.
Tomatoes are definitely one ingredient to not skip in this pasta. Cherry tomatoes (and other types, like heirlooms) are filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Notably, tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant, lycopene. This plant compound is actually more bioavailable once cooked, and is known to protect against certain types of cancers including skin and prostate cancer; it’s also prized for its ability to reduce inflammation and the risk of heart disease. Cooked cherry tomatoes are bursting with flavor – literally. Lightly sauté cherry tomatoes until just about to burst; they’re delicious in this pasta recipe.
Zucchini is another not-to-miss summer pasta ingredient and seasonal staple. Abundant in the garden and at the farmers market, zucchini is a summer squash filled with flavor and nutrients. If you don’t have any zucchini, try a different variety of summer squash instead. Other varieties of summer squash include pattypan, yellow crookneck, eight ball, and tatuma.
Other summer pasta ingredients include garlic and onion for flavor, spinach for antioxidants and a burst of green, olives for a salty tang, sundried tomatoes for a flavorful kick, and parmesan cheese for additional flavor. Basil ties the whole dish together and makes every bite of this summer pasta bright and fresh.
Feel free to add in more vegetables, or fewer, depending on what you have on hand. Great pasta additions include eggplant, bell peppers, broccoli, corn, and other fresh herbs and greens. Boost the protein content by adding in cooked chickpeas or white beans, chicken, or salmon.
Hello simple, fresh, summer pasta.
Summer Everything Pasta
- 1 pound cooked pasta (I used rotini)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- ¼ onion, chopped
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 zucchini, diced
- ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- ½ cup black or green olives, sliced
- 2 cups spinach
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
- Stir in cherry tomatoes, zucchini, olives, and sundried tomatoes. Cook for 5-7 minutes on medium, stirring every so often.
- Add in spinach and cook until wilted, about 1-2 minutes.
- Pour pasta into skillet and stir everything together.
- Top with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil and serve immediately. Enjoy!
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Photos by Kate Gavlick