Squash Blossom & Garlic Scape Pasta – a light summer pasta, with squash blossoms, garlic scapes, cherry tomatoes, zuchinni and browned butter. This quick and easy recipe made with delicious seasonal summer produce is perfect for weeknights and enjoying al fresco!
It’s that time of year where more locally grown produce is becoming available. Where I live, in Winnipeg, MB our season is super short so you really have to make the most of it! I really try to eat with the seasons. The funny thing is, Manitoba’s growing season is so behind other areas (especially with our late spring this year, and chillier weather) that often by the time a season for one kind of seasonal ingredient starts here, it has ended and a whole new one has begun elsewhere!
Incorporating the produce that is available to me during these warmer months has long been something I have enjoyed. As each year has passed, I’ve found that more options are becoming available here! I think farmers experiment with different kinds of crops, and society has an interest in trying new things after finding out about them online or through social media. I am totally on board with this, as trying new foods has really become something I love doing!
This light, summer pasta incorporates a few of these seasonal ingredients. The stars of the show are the squash blossoms and garlic scapes, but we’ve also got zucchini and cherry tomatoes in this pasta as well.
Before I get into the details of this recipe, let me tell you a bit more about two of these ingredients you may or may not be super familiar with!
What are squash blossoms? Quite simply, they are the big edible flowers of zucchini, pumpkin or other squash plants. They have a delicate flavour, tasting mildly of the squash that they are from. You can use them in many ways – stuffing them ricotta or goat cheese then dipping them in batter and frying them is a common way of enjoying these. You can also throw them into a quiche or frittata, toss them onto a pizza, or as I have done here, make a squash blossom pasta!
Squash blossoms are new to me as of this year! While I had heard of them a few years ago, I never had seen them at the store or farmers market. I asked around, and a local company called Fresh Option was able to so kindly source some for me so I could experiment with them!
What are garlic scapes? They are the tender stem and flower bud of the hardneck garlic plant. The scapes grow straight out out the garlic bulb, and coil towards the ends. They are usually harvested in the late spring and early summer here. Garlic scapes have a texture similar to asparagus, and taste like a blend of mild garlic and onion. There are so many ways to use garlic scapes too! Sauteed, barbequed, roasted, blended into pesto, tossed into a stir fry, pickled, your options are essentially endless!
Squash Blossom & Garlic Scape Pasta – a light summer pasta!
This summer pasta dish incorporates many summer produce favourites. Butter is lightly browned in a skillet, giving it a rich, nutty flavour. Garlic is added to the butter to kick up the flavour some more, and then the garlic scapes. Fresh cherry tomatoes are then tossed in, which slowly break down a bit making for a rich tomato-y butter sauce. We’ve also added some zucchini to get in some extra veggies, and then finally the blossoms are added and cooked until they just begin to wilt.
You can use any pasta shape you prefer, but I find spaghetti works well here. Toss on some freshly grated parmesan cheese and you’ve got yourself one heck of a delicious summer meal.
This squash blossom and garlic scape pasta is wonderful to enjoy al fresco with a glass of your favourite wine. I’ve been enjoying rosés a lot lately, my favourite being the Pelee Island Lola Blush. It’s got a bit of sparkle to it, and is amazing served chilled alongside this pasta.
If you make this squash blossom & garlic scape pasta please let me know! You can leave a comment below, rate it, post on the Zest & Simmer Facebook page or share photos on Instagram with the hashtag #zestandsimmer. I am always thrilled to hear from you!
Squash Blossom & Garlic Scape Pasta
- 375 g spaghetti (1 regular sized package)
- 1/3 cup salted butter
- 4 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 10 garlic scapes , cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes , halved
- 1 medium zucchini , cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 16 zucchini or squash blossoms
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese , freshly grated
- Wash all produce, and cut according to ingredients list. To clean the squash blossoms, gently open the petals and rinse gently under cold water, to wash away any dirt or bugs. Remove the pistil or stamen using your fingers. Then gently dry with a clean dishcloth of paper towel.
- In a large pot, boil spaghetti according to the package directions.
- While spaghetti noddles are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and melt the butter. Allow butter to start to brown, stirring so it doesn't burn, about 3 minutes. It will start to turn a golden brown and have a nutty aroma. Add garlic, continuing to stir and cook for another minute.
- Add garlic scapes to the skillet, tossing them in the butter for 1 minute. Then add in the cherry tomatoes and zucchini. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Finally, toss in the squash blossoms, turning off heat, until slightly wilted (about 1 minute).
- Toss the cooked veggies with the spaghetti noodles and parmesan. Serve hot, with more parmesan if desired.