With crisp sweet corn, sun-drenched tomatoes, and tender zucchini tossed with thin spaghettini, this simple Pasta Estate is like an edible ode to summer. It takes less than 10 minutes to make, which means you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the season.

With pan-roasted tomatoes, corn and zucchini tossed with spaghettini and basil, this simple plant-based Pasta Estate captures all the goodness of summer on a plate.

If Pasta Primavera had a sibling for the three other seasons of the year, then this Pasta Estate (pronounced es-TAH-teh), would quite literally be summer (Estate means summer in Italian). As far as I’m aware there isn’t actually a dish called Pasta Estate in Italy, but if a French chef in New York is allowed to name a pasta after spring, why can’t summer have a pasta too?

Summer Vegetables for Summer Pasta

For the veggies, I used a combination of garlic, cherry tomatoes, corn, and zucchini. They’re a colorful combination that is loaded with umami producing amino acids. That being said, this will work with many other summer vegetables and would be a fun way to use up items from a CSA basket. Here’s how to think about the vegetables to add:

  • Aromatic – These are fragrant vegetables and herbs that add flavor to your pasta. I recommend including some type of Allium such as garlic, onions, or scallions here and sauteeing them a bit at the beginning to bring out their sweetness and flavor. Herbs, such as basil, oregano, or thyme are best added towards the end to preserve their fresh flavor.
  • Umami – The garlic, corn, and tomatoes in my pasta are brimming with umami producing amino acids. This is what gives this dish a savory depth that will make the corners of your mouth turn up into a satisfied smile, despite the lack of meat.
  • Texture – The corn adds a crisp contrast to the al dente pasta, tender zucchini and juicy tomatoes. Other vegetables like celery, jicama, and lightly cooked peppers would be good alternatives.

Pasta Estate (literally Summer Pasta) is an easy yet ultra-flavorful plant-based pasta that captures the essense of summer with pan-roasted tomatoes, corn and zucchini.

The Pasta

Some may argue that pasta is pasta and that the kind you use doesn’t matter, but for me, every pasta dish tells a story, and the type of pasta that you use becomes part of the plot. Aside from practical considerations like using a shape that’s suitable for holding onto the style of sauce you make, the thickness, length and curvature can make the finished dish light and playful or substantial and imposing.

For this dish, I knew I wanted a long straight pasta as they tend to be a bit more delicate while being adept at hanging onto thin strips of veggies like the julienned zucchini. I ended up going with spaghettini which is the perfect balance between featherweight Cappellini and regular spaghetti. It has enough substance to stand up to the crisp corn and yet it’s delicate enough to allow the vegetables to shine through. Look closely at the plate, and you can almost see rays of summer sunshine bursting out from between the strands of spaghettini!

Of course, if all you have on hand is spaghetti or even something heavier like Strozzapreti, they will work in a pinch.

How to make Pasta Estate

Whatever pasta you choose, I like to finish cooking it in the pan with the sauteed veggies to marry their flavors. That’s why I usually cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than what it says on the package. There’s technically no sauce here, so you’ll want to reserve a bit of the boiling liquid and add it in with the veggies and pasta. This helps to release some of the caramelized vegetable juices from the pan while adding a bit of starch that allows this invisible sauce to coat everything in a layer of flavor.

I made this plant-based because it was hot and I wanted something bright and refreshing. If you’re not vegan and prefer something with a bit more body, try sprinkling on some parmesan cheese at the end. It makes the umami in the corn pop while the fat mellows out the acidity of the tomatoes.

Pasta Estate (Summer Pasta)If Pasta Primavera had a sibling for the three other seasons of the year, then this Pasta Estate (pronounced es-TAH-teh), would quite literally be summer (Estate means summer in Italian). As far as I’m aware there isn’t actually a dish called Pasta Estate in Italy, but if a French chef in New York is allowed … Continue reading “Pasta Estate (Summer Pasta)”

Summary

  • CourseEntree
  • CuisineItalian
  • Yield2 servings
  • Cooking Time8 minutes
  • Preperation Time3 minutes
  • Total Time11 minutes

Ingredients

210 grams
cherry tomatoes (cut in half if large)
170 grams
corn (1 ear, kernels removed from cob)
140 grams
zucchini (1 small, julienned)
14 grams
garlic (2 large cloves, minced)
2 tablespoons
olive oil
1/2 teaspoon
salt
180 grams
spaghettini

Steps

  1. Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  2. Fresh corn kernals, julienned zucchini, and cherry tomatoes for Pasta Estate (Summer Pasta).
    While you’re waiting for the pasta to boil, prepare the tomatoes, corn, zucchini, and garlic.
  3. Add the pasta to the boiling water and set a timer for 7 minutes.
  4. In a frying pan over high heat, add the olive oil and garlic and swirl until the garlic is fragrant (don’t let it brown yet).
  5. Corn, zucchini and garlic sauteing in a pan for making the best summer pasta.
    Add the zucchini, corn, and salt and sauté until the zucchini is tender.
  6. Pan-roasted cherry tomatoes with corn and zucchini for Summer Pasta.
    Add the cherry tomatoes and sauté them until their skins have shriveled and they are very tender.
  7. When the pasta is done, reserve some of the cooking liquid and then drain the pasta.
  8. Basil and spaghettini being tossed with pan-roasted tomatoes, corn, and zucchini for Pasta Estate (Summer Pasta).
    Add the pasta and basil to the tomatoes and corn. Add the reserved pasta liquid a little bit at a time, tossing everything together in the pan until the pasta is cooked to your desired texture.