Fusilli with Summer Squash

I don’t typically cook with butter, but sometimes I’m inclined to use a dab here and there on my veggies. The natural butteriness of yellow squash lends itself particularly well to Paula Deen’s favorite weapon in the kitchen, and employs this dish with a simple richness that’s not too heavy for the summer.

When summer squash season arrives, the sunny-seasoned vegetable tends to stock its vines by the bucket full. That being said, if it’s in your garden, there’s generally plenty to go around. The first few weeks, I often stick to the simple steamer method, and drizzle the yellow or green rounds with a little olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. If I’m feeling a veggie-based indulgence, I’ll go for a dab of butter. (But let’s not go overboard with a whole stick. My northern roots will never take me close to a true Paula Deen).

You can only eat so many steamed squash, however, until the desire for something more leaves you astray. Which has led me to this fusilli pasta dish. It has the same minimal-feel of a simple steam, but a heartiness to keep your squash taste buds feeling inspired. I chose a mix of yellow and zucchini purely because the two happen to be in sync in terms of their growing time. Feel free to experiment with other summer varieties that are either growing in your garden or standing out at the farmer’s market. You’ll find that they’ll all pair well with a golden touch of butter and Parmesan.

Fusilli with Summer Squash

Yield: Serves 4


  • -4 oz. whole wheat fusilli, or other short-cut pasta
  • -3 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • -3-4 large shallot cloves (about 1/3 cup), diced
  • -2 medium-large summer squash (I did one zucchini, one yellow squash), sliced
  • -1 3/4 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • -1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • -3/4 tsp. red chili pepper flakes
  • -1/2 cup fresh Parmesan, grated
  • -Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente.
  2. In large saute pan, heat 2 Tbsp. butter over medium-high and add shallots. Saute until shallots are nearly translucent. Stir in red chili pepper flakes. Add squash, and season
  3. with salt, to taste. Cook until squash are tender. Stir in lemon zest. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan.
  4. Toss squash with drained pasta and remaining Tbsp. butter. Top with remaining Parmesan, and serve.

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  • Reply
    Julia {The Roasted Root}
    July 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    This recipe is perfect, so happy I stumbled on it! I have a ton of zucchini and yellow squash growing in my garden, ready to be eaten, so this is an awesome use for my garden veggies! Have a fun weekend!

    • Reply
      Grace Dickinson
      July 25, 2012 at 8:08 am

      Squash grow so fast in the summer! Hope the recipe works out well for you, Julia.

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