Summer Squash Pasta with Zucchini, Lemon & Basil

August 25, 2011

zucchini pasta

Summer Squash Pasta with Lemon & Basil

Before we delve into this light and delicious summer squash pasta with lemon and basil, I want to share a story.

When I was around 8 or 9 my mother took me into Boston's WGBH studios to appear on a TV show called Bozo.

I begged my Mom for months to take me because there was a segment of the show where a character named “Klank, The Tin Can Man,” would come out and select 10 kids from the audience and twist with them on live television.

Although, it seems extremely out of character for me now, I loved to perform as a kid.

When Chubby Checker's twist hit the airwaves, that was my life. I twisted to that song day and night. Wherever I would go, parents of my friends would put on the 45, and ask me to twist and I would twist my heart out with no inhibitions. They would laugh and clap.

I was known all over my small town for my twisting.

I was so excited when the Bozo tickets arrived in my self-addressed stamped envelope. The next hurdle was to convince my Mom to drive through the Callahan tunnel to take me into Boston for the show. My Mom was claustrophobic, and at times agoraphobic so this wasn't easy.

The only way to get into Boston from Winthrop was through a tunnel or over a huge bridge.

She was so nervous about driving through that tunnel (as was I), but somehow she pulled it off and got me to the television show.

To my surprise there were about 100 kids lined up outside the studio. I made sure I was first in line thinking that would put me in the front row of the bleachers making it easy for Klank to choose me.

When they filed us into the studio, I realized that I was going to be seated on the very top of those bleachers and impossible for Klank to reach me. I wasn't discouraged because I was there to twist with Klank and nothing was going to stop me.

The music started and Klank finally came out and started choosing kids to twist  with him, all from the front row.

Time was running out, so I decided to jump about 8 feet from the top of the bleaches onto the floor. I hit the floor quite hard but immediately pulled myself up and started twisting. The people working on the show just stared at me and couldn't believe I did that, but it was a live television show and they probably didn't want to drag a determined 9 year-old girl out.

When Klank, The Tin Can Man, came over and started twisting with me, it was one of the best days of my young life.

It takes a lot of willpower to do anything in this world and being a vegan is like jumping off those bleachers for me. My determination and will are constantly being tested. Every day is a new challenge but the feeling of accomplishment that comes with being a vegan keeps me going.

Vegan – Day 117 – Wish me luck Now on to the food.

This week I have been experimenting with zucchini. It's very inexpensive right now as is the summer squash.

Today I made a light and bright summer squash pasta seasoned with basil, lemon juice and chives. This summer squash pasta is perfect for a hot summer night.

If you try this summer squash pasta recipe, please let me know!  Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #ordinaryvegan on Instagram so I can see your masterpiece.

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Summer Squash Pasta with Zucchini, Lemon & Basil

Zucchini & Yellow Squash Pasta with Lemon & Basil
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb whole-wheat pasta or gluten-free pasta
  • ½ cup vegetable broth + ¼ cup for sautéing
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound zucchini, sliced and cut in half (not too thin)
  • 1 pound summer squash, sliced and cut in half (not too thin)
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice from 1 large lemon
  • handful of fresh, chopped chives
  • handful of fresh, chopped mint (optional)
  • salt and fresh ground pepper
  • Lemon zest
  • Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil for serving (optional)
  1. Prepare the pasta according to instructions.
  2. Zest and squeeze the juice from the lemon.
  3. Meanwhile, heat ½ cup of vegetable broth in a large saute pan. Season with the dried basil and a little salt and ground black pepper. Add the garlic and saute for approximately 2 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini and summer squash and saute until cooked but not mushy. Add ¼ vegetable broth to keep from sticking if needed.
  5. Add the lemon juice, fresh basil, mint (if using) and combine.
  6. Serve over the pasta with some fresh chopped chives.
  7. Drizzle with a little olive oil if you desire.

Sweet Roasted Zucchini & Yellow Squash

Sweet but good
Recipe type: Entree
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 lb yellow squash, cubed
  • 1½ lb zucchini, cubed (make zucchini cubes a little bigger then squash so they cook evenly)
  • ½ cup almond slivers
  • ½ orange, zested and juiced (about ⅓ cup juice and 1 tablespoon zest)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together garlic, olive oil, sugar, cumin, chili flakes and cinnamon.
  3. Add squash cubes and zucchini cubes and toss well to evenly coat. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. Place on sheet pan and bake until nicely caramelized but not mushy - stirring halfway through baking. Takes about 20 minutes to caramelize.
  5. While baking, place almonds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat and toast, stirring often, until lightlygolden - about 3 minutes.
  6. Transfer squash and almonds to serving bowl, toss with orange juice and zest, and serve.
I didn't do this but I think this would taste good over some bitter greens or arugula - something with some snap/bitterness since this is so sweet. Also, makes the house smell great.


4 thoughts on “Summer Squash Pasta with Zucchini, Lemon & Basil

  1. I took some elements from both recipes in making a farro with sauteed yellow squash, zucchini and onion dish with lemon juice and almond slivers.
    I simmered the farro in half vegetable broth half water until liquid was gone while cooking veggies diced per recipe 2 on a stovetop with the seasonings per recipe 1. I didn’t have any red peppers on hand but that sweetness would’ve been a great addition. Once everything was cooked to my liking, I added them together with some lemon juice and raw almond slivers.
    Very nom 🙂

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