Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

Sometimes, nothing is more beautiful than a simple bowl of pasta.

It’s when I’m really hungry that these words couldn’t feel more true, and this time of year, that means after a long, hot summer run. After one of those, first I want watermelon. And then I want pasta.

Summertime (er, late springtime). It feels so good.

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

When the weather is nice, I spend a ton of time outside. More often than not, that means after work, I’m out strolling, cycling, running, or just hanging around until the sun just sets. I could be with my friends. I could be by myself. It doesn’t matter – when it’s warm out, I’m out. And I’m loving every minute of it.

However, this often leaves me locking up my bike at the end of the evening and heading inside with a sudden realization of hunger, and the urge to eat ASAP. Anyone else turn into a monster on occasion, too?

If so, you know that’s when simple recipes like this prove themselves to be rather handy.

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

Here, a quick saute of some onions, squash and spinach create a light and easy sauce for a meal you can make in under 30 minutes. It’s filling, yet not in the kind of way that will weigh you down on a balmy summer night, and is spruced up with parsley to make it feel extra fresh.

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

I don’t cook with a butter a lot, but I find that adding a Tbsp. to this enhances the inherent butteriness of yellow summer squash. Feel free to use all olive oil if that’s your preference. However, a little browned butter goes a long way to enrich the sauce, and pairs well with the lemony tones of the parsley.

Also, be sure to stick with angel hair or spaghettini when choosing your whole wheat pasta. While this sauce is certainly flavorful, it’s delicate, so to truly experience all of its nuances, a thinner pasta works best.


Pair this with a side salad, and a cold beverage of your choice, and you create a no-fuss summer meal for any night of the week.

Simple Pasta with Summer Squash and Spinach

Pasta with Summer Squash

Yield: Serves 3


  • -8 oz. whole-wheat spaghettini (1/2 box)
  • -1 Tbsp. butter or Earth Balance, divided
  • -1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • -5 cloves garlic, diced
  • -1 medium onion, diced
  • -1 large summer squash (or 2 med.), chopped
  • -3 cups of spinach
  • -1 tsp. red chili pepper flakes, or to taste
  • -1/3 cup shredded Parmesan (can be excluded, if dairy-free)
  • -2 Tbsp. toasted pumpkin seeds
  • -1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • -Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water, until al dente. Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
  2. In large saute pan, heat butter and 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium-high. Add onions and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes. Then add squash and chili pepper flakes, and season the pan with salt. Saute until onions are browned, and squash is tender. Stir in reserved pasta water and spinach, and cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Add parsley, and adjust salt, to taste.
  3. Add drained and cooked pasta to the pan. Toss with remaining Tbsp. of olive oil if pasta seems dry. Serve immediately, topped with pumpkin seeds, and Parm.

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  • Reply
    Archana @ The perfect zest
    June 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    that bowl looks really good.. I like a simple bowl of pasta too – not a fan of heavy sauces. I love to add a ton of veggies to bulk of my pasta.

    (first time at your blog and I’m glad I found it!)

    • Reply
      Grace @FoodFitnessFreshAir
      June 18, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      I’m with you! I’m all about light and summery sauces as opposed to heavy cream-based ones. Thanks for stopping by!

  • Reply
    June 19, 2014 at 8:43 am

    The best pasta recipes are always the simplest – great flavours are all you need to really make them sing!

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