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  • Megan

yellow squash, pea, and basil pesto pasta

Updated: Jun 12

When I think squash, I think fall. And yet, I've been harvesting summer squash from my little garden for more than a month now, and it's not even officially fall. That's why I'm deeming this dish a perfect fit for the transitional time between summer and fall. The air has cooled and a few trees are just beginning to turn; at the same time, a few vestiges of summer hang on: the tomatoes grow rosy, the strawberry plant flowers, and in the absence of clouds, the sun's heat is still intense.

Late summer, early fall...whatever you call this time, it's about as exquisite as weather gets. If only we could bottle it. At the very least, we can drop it into a bowl, cover it in cheese, and slurp it up.


2 packed cups basil

1/4 cup crumbled feta

1/4 cup grated parmesan

1/4 cup roasted nuts (I used a mix of almonds and walnuts)

1 clove garlic

1/2 tbsp lemon juice

salt and pepper

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup half and half or cream


6 oz pasta

1 large or 2 small yellow squash, sliced

heaping quarter cup diced onion

1 clove garlic, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1 cup peas (I used frozen peas, but if you have fresh ones, add them to the pot of pasta for the last minute of cook time)

salt & pepper

Lemon wedge or two


  1. Throw all your pesto ingredients except the half and half into a food processor (pesto recipes typically call for slowly streaming in the oil as you process, but my machine doesn’t allow for that, and it all came together just fine). Process until combined and creamy. Then whisk in the half and half and set aside.

  2. Get your pasta water started on the stove. When it comes to a boil, season with a generous pinch of salt before adding the noodles. Cook them to al dente, and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before you drain the noodles. While the noodles cook…

  3. Slice the yellow squash and dice the onion and garlic.

  4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened.

  5. Add the sliced squash to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is softened.

  6. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt. Continue cooking for a minute, stirring often.

  7. Finally, add the peas and some black pepper, and cook for another minute.

  8. Add your drained pasta to the pan along with the creamy pesto. Toss everything together. If needed, add a bit of the pasta cooking water to thin out the pesto sauce.

  9. Plate the pasta and garnish it with grated parmesan, crumbled feta, black pepper, basil, and a squeeze of lemon.


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