A farmers market inspired Pasta Salad with Zucchini, Corn, tomatoes and Black beans- to act as a blueprint for your own creations. A simple healthy meal that can be served warm as a main, then chilled for weekday lunches. Either use the grill or sauté the veggies for faster prep!
- 4–6 ounces pasta – penne, linguini, bow tie- or try GF pasta or Chickpea Pasta! ( grain-free)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 fat garlic cloves- rough chopped
- 2 shallots ( or half a red onion) – thinly sliced
- 1 pound zucchini or summer squash ( a mix is nice)
- 1 ear of corn, or sub red bell pepper
- 1 lemon, zest and some juice to taste
- 2–3 cups cooked or canned black beans- or sub any other bean! (1–2 cans)
- 10 colorful cherry tomatoes, halved
- heaping handful arugula (optional)
- ½ – 1 cup chopped cilantro, Italian parsley or basil
- Optional – crumbled feta or goat cheese, pecorino, capers, kalamata olives, pumpkin seeds, chili flakes
Set salted pasta water to boil on the stove and cook pasta according to directions on package- remember to save the pasta water.
If grilling the veggies, pre-heat grill and see notes.
If cooking veggies stove top, slice zucchini into ½ inch thick half moons. Lay corn down on a cutting board and slice the kernels off.
Heat oil in an extra large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, shallot and zucchini and sauté for 5-6 minutes, stirring often, lowering heat if garlic starts to get too dark. Once the zucchini has a bit of color, stir in the zest from one lemon. Add the corn, and stir and cover the skillet with a lid and turn heat to low, letting it steam until zucchini is tender. Check after a few minutes, give a quick stir, cover again. Once zucchini is tender add the cooked black beans and let them warm through, adding the salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta remembering to SAVE some salted pasta water. Add the pasta to the skillet, along with a few tablespoons of the salted pasta water ( 3-4). Squeeze with a little lemon juice. Stir, taste and adjust salt and lemon. To add more umami flavor ( optional) you could add capers, kalamata olives, ( or a few tablespoons olive tapenade), or shaved pecorino. A little anchovy paste is always an option too- stir a little in the pasta water that you add into the skillet. For heat, add chili flakes.
Place this in a big bowl and right before serving toss in arugula and fresh herbs. Top with tomato halves. Sprinkle with feta or goat cheese or keep it vegan and lean.
If grilling the zucchini, slice in half or in ½ disks depending on the size. Grill until tender, then cut them smaller before adding to the pasta. If grilling corn, just grill directly on the grate, until a few char marks appear. Lay corn down on a cutting board and slice kernels downward, rotating the cob.
Add to the skillet when you add the beans. ( You will still saute the garlic and shallot, add beans, lemon zest and grilled veggies) Continue with recipe above.
Keywords: zucchini pasta, farmers market pasta salad, zucchini pasta salad, summer pasta salad recipe, corn pasta, vegan pasta salad, gluten free pasta salad