• Sam Burgess

Yellow Squash Vegetarian Pasta Recipe with Tomatoes & Pine Nuts

Utilize your end of season summer vegetables from the farmer's market. Salt the summer squash before cooking to remove moisture and give it a flavor boost. The dish is finished with toasted pine nuts, freshly grated manchego cheese, and white balsamic vinegar.

Makes: 6-8 servings


  • 2 pounds summer squash (~3 large squash)

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • ¼ cup pine nuts

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 pound callentani, farfalle or orecchiette pasta

  • 2 tablespoon garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flake

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ½ cup fresh basil or parsley, chopped

  • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar (regular balsamic as a substitute)

  • Salt & pepper, to taste

  • Parmesan or Manchego cheese, grated, for garnish


  1. Using a vegetable knife, remove ends of each summer squash, slice down the middle, and cut into ½ inch half-moons. Place into a colander and toss with 1 tablespoon of salt and let drain in the sink for 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet over medium heat, toast the pinenuts, stirring often, until aromatic and golden-brown, about 4-7 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a small bowl. Prepare other vegetables and bring a large pot of water to a boil.

  3. Once the time is up, spread squash on clean kitchen towels (or paper towels) and brush off as much salt and moisture as possible. In a large non-stick skillet or wok over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add half of the dry squash and cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown and lightly charred, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer cooked squash to a plate, add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil back to the pan, and repeat with remaining squash.

  4. Once water is boiling, add pasta and cook, stirring often, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Reserve ¼ cup of pasta water before draining and reserving back in the pot.

  5. Add remaining 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to the empty skillet and add garlic and crushed chili flake, cooking until fragrant, about 30-60 seconds. Add squash and cherry tomatoes and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

  6. Transfer squash mixture to warm pasta, and fold in chopped herbs, pine nuts, ¼ cup reserved pasta water, and white balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide into serving bowls and grate fresh parmesan over the top. Enjoy!

Chef’s Notes:

  • This recipe was inspired by what is available and in-season at the local market this week! Some baby kale/arugula, mushrooms, and corn are always welcome. Make it yours!

Recipe by Sam Burgess

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