Summertime Pasta with Squash and Corn


Looks can be deceiving. For example, the picture you see above probably looks pretty good, but not the kind of thing you’re going to e-mail to all of your friends with the subject “!!!!” and the message, “OH MY GOD WE HAVE TO MAKE THIS.”

That’s a shame because, the thing is, if you could taste a bite of the picture above, fresh out of the pan, exploding with sweet corn flavor, given depth by nicely browned squash, married all together with a pat of butter, you’d be doing cartwheels down the street, eager to get all of the ingredients to make this yourself. It’s the best bite of summer I’ve had so far, and it’s a surprising way to use ingredients that normally wind up on the grill or in a salad.

These particular ingredients came from my CSA, which I’m still very much enjoying. Each week I get a big box of stuff and then I spend the rest of the week figuring out how to use the stuff. It’s fun. In last week’s box, three squash:


And two ears of corn (which I took out of their husks) (oh and the box came with lots of other stuff too in case you’re like, “All you got was three squash and two ears of corn?”):


To start, I heated a big pot of water with a few pinches of salt, and then poured olive oil into a large sauté pan. When it was hot, I added the squash–which I peeled (the skin was kind of thick) and cut into cubes:


Sprinkled on some salt and while that was cooking, I cut the kernels off the cobs with a sharp knife:


I flipped the squash over and let it cook until it started to brown without getting too mushy. At that point, I added all of the corn and another pinch of salt:


At this point, things were very happy in that pan. If you were to swipe a spoon through there and lift it into your mouth, you’d be a very happy camper. If you timed this right, your water should be boiling, so drop your pasta in (I used rigatoni, but penne or ziti would work too; anything to catch the corn) and stir it all around.

Keep the corn pan on high heat and if you happen to have them, slice a few scallions thinly; add the white parts to the corn and squash. Then, when the corn is just cooked and things are starting to brown a bit, add a ladleful of the pasta cooking water. It should sizzle, etc. Lower the heat a tad and then do the smart thing: add a pat of butter.


Stir that through and eventually you should have a creamy, buttery sauce. Hopefully, just at this moment, your pasta is quite al dente. Lift it with a spider into the pan with the corn and butter and stir all around, allowing the pasta to drink in the sweet corn broth.


Sprinkle in some scallions and serve right away. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be gobbling this straight out of the pan.


Oh, and it tastes best hot right at that moment. I didn’t like it as much the next day, but it still tasted good.

Go get yourself some corn and squash and go for it. You can thank me later.