There’s nothing we look forward to more than the first arrival of sweet, crunchy corn. (In fact, as soon as it hits our boxes, we deem it the unofficial start of summer.) One corn-centric dish we’ll be serving up all season is this filling pasta dish with another one of our favorite summer veggies: zucchini. We pair it all with a zesty jalapeño pesto for a pleasant kick of heat, but ditch the jalapeños if you aren’t a big fan of spice. (That’s the beauty of pesto, isn’t it? You can customize it however you want.)
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- 2 cups packed basil leaves, plus more for serving
- 2 jalapeño peppers, stems and seeds removed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated, plus more for serving
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch half circles
- 1 ear of corn, kernels removed
- 1 pound pappardelle pasta
- In a food processor, add basil, jalapeños, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Blitz until almost smooth. With the motor running on low, slowly stream in 1/2 cup of olive oil until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high. Add sliced zucchini and a pinch of salt. Cook, tossing occasionally, until zucchini begins to brown and become jammy, about 10-12 minutes.
- Turn heat to medium, then add corn and another pinch of salt. Cook until corn looks plump and bright yellow, roughly 3-5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions in heavily-salted boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.
- Transfer pasta into the pan with zucchini and corn. Add pesto and toss vigorously, adding pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time until the pasta is fully coated and appears glossy.
- Divide pasta evenly, then top with more Parmigiano-Reggiano and basil leaves. Serve immediately.