This pasta salad is so simple, but the ingredients come together perfectly and I suggest you make it right away! I wanted to give our members a simple way to use up their summer squash that could be enjoyed warm or cold and I think I’ve found it. I made a batch with just 1/2 lb of pasta, but next time I would make the whole pound and enjoy the leftovers all week.
The pasta and squash can also be used as a base for anything you’re in the mood for. Try changing up the cheese, use almost any fresh herb, and if you’re feeling adventurous add grilled chicken or a handful of chickpeas. The lemon and olive oil are enough to carry the dish.
When grilling the squash, cut it into big slabs. You’re much less likely to drop them through the grill grates. The key to this salad is letting the pasta cool after dressing it and letting the squash cool before tossing everything together. It keeps the cheese from melting, instead it gently coats the pasta and vegetable. If you toss everything together warm, it’ll be a summer pasta instead of a salad. You decide!
Summer Squash Pasta Salad serves 4, double for a crowd
1/2 lb pasta, rombi pictured
1lb summer squash
1/4 chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for the squash
juice from 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and immediately toss with the olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Let cool, stirring frequently to distribute the olive oil and keep it from sticking together.
Grill the squash. Remove the tops and bottoms from the squash, then slice lengthwise into slabs. Place in a bowl and toss with a healthy glug of olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill squash a few minutes per side until just softened with dark grill marks. Don’t overcook! Let the squash cool for about 10 minutes, then slice crosswise.
Toss the cheese and herbs with the pasta. Then add the cooled squash. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, or lemon juice if necessary. Garnish the top with fresh parsley and serve.
Gluten Free Variation – substitute quinoa for the pasta. Cook 1 cup dry quinoa and follow recipe as written.