This pasta recipe is a great way to use zucchini and summer squash. Delicious, meat-free, and simple to make, this will quickly become a go-to recipe.


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds assorted summer squashes and zucchini, quartered lengthwise, sliced
  • salt
  • a few shakes red pepper flakes, plus more for serving (can substitute black pepper)
  • 12 – 16 ounces of your favorite pasta (we like Zaza’s from the NUCMC)
  • 2 ounces Parmesan, grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup basil leaves
  • 1 – 2 fresh, diced Roma tomatoes (optional)


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Cook garlic, stirring occasionally, until very lightly browned around the edges, about 4 minutes. Add squash; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until squash begins to break down and gets jammy (they may start to stick to the skillet a bit, which means you are there!), 12–15 minutes. Add a few shakes of red pepper flakes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente.

Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to the large skillet with the squash. Cook pasta and add more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente. Turn off the burner and toss in half of the Parmesan cheese, stir until combined. Stir in fresh lemon juice, most of the basil, and tomatoes (if using).

Divide pasta among bowls and top with more Parmesan, pepper, and remaining basil.

*Adapted from Bon Appetit