If you follow us on Instagram and/or Facebook, you may have seen the poll asking if you'd like me to post this recipe for pasta with zucchini, corn and cilantro. The majority voted YES, so I've written up the recipe below!
I made this delicious pasta with zucchini, corn and cilantro all summer long. It's also a nice dish for fall. There’s still time to make it before fresh corn is gone for the season. If you’re looking for a quick pasta dish that’s hearty enough for a main dish and also works well as a side, you’ll want to give this recipe a try. It’s adapted from Alice Waters, Chez Panisse Vegetables.
Kids and teens can be unpredictable
We get it! Kids and teens can be unpredictable about the foods they'll eat. The first time I made this zucchini recipe over the summer, my 16-year-old loved it! She also likes the zucchini cakes (in my previous post) when I coat them in bread crumbs before cooking. There have been other times she hasn't eaten the zucchini cakes. And my 13-year-old hasn't tried them yet.
One reason I love this recipe is that it offers me another quick and easy way to cook zucchini and the kids another opportunity to try zucchini. It's also great because selective eaters can easily eat around the zucchini. The most recent time I made this dish, my 16-year-old did just that. She said she just wasn’t in the mood for zucchini. My 13-year-old only eats the pasta. Of course, that could change at any moment!
Making back-to-school lunches
Yet another reason to make this pasta is it reheats well. Since school is back in session, I’m back to planning lunches more strategically. And anything that reheats well is considered a win! This summer, my kids fixed lunch on their own fairly often. With the start of (virtual) school, I feel like I need to bring back some of the structure that comes from having me (the parent) plan and make meals for them. Since they have asynchronous learning on Mondays, I’m going to experiment with them making their own lunches on Mondays and I’ll take care of lunches the rest of the week.
I initially thought I might actually pack their lunches even though school is virtual. I haven’t done that yet, but we’re only just into the third week of school. There’s time to adapt if needed!
If you’re looking for simple lunch ideas and tips to make planning and making lunches easier, you can purchase our Lunch E-Book by clicking here. We also have some previous posts with simple lunch-packing tips and ideas:
- Lunch Packing With Tweens and Teens
- Make These Easy Baked Beans to Simplify Your Lunch Packing Routine
- What's For Lunch?
- 3 Favorite Back-To-School Lunches
Pasta with Zucchini, Corn and Cilantro
- 4 small or 2 medium zucchini
- 3 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- Pinch of red pepper flake optional
- 4 ears of corn blanched and cut off the cob
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup water from blanching the corn
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro more or less depending on your taste
- ½ a lemon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb fettuccine
- Shuck the corn. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once the water comes to a boil, cook 3-5 minutes. Remove corn from the water. Leave the pot of water on the stove, because you can cook your pasta in it. You’ll also need 1 cup of the water reserved for the sauce.
- Once the corn cobs are cool enough to handle, cut the corn off the cobs and set the corn aside until it’s time to add it to the pan.
- Dice the zucchini. (It also works to shred it if you prefer). Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the diced zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes or until some of it begins to brown. While the zucchini is cooking, peel and chop 2 cloves of garlic.
- Bring the large pot of reserved water from cooking the corn back to a boil and add the fettuccine. Cook according to package directions.
- Add the pinch of red pepper flake, the garlic and the corn to the pan and cook on medium to medium high heat for about another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Chop the cilantro.
- After 5 minutes, add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter, the chopped cilantro and the 1 cup of the water you used to cook the corn.
- Once the fettuccine is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan of zucchini and corn sauce. Toss with the sauce. Squeeze the half lemon and add to the pan. Taste the sauce to see if it needs more salt, pepper or lemon.
- Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese.