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Summer Cavatelli with Corn, Tomatoes and Zucchini Recipe

Welcome to the refreshing summer cavatelli recipe with a delightful mix of corn, tomatoes, and zucchini. This pasta dish is a blend of summer's freshest produce with a touch of classic Italian pasta. Rich in flavors, it's an ideal dish for a light lunch or dinner.

Summer Cavatelli with Corn, Tomatoes and Zucchini Recipe
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Most of the ingredients for this recipe are commonly found in regular households, however, there could be exceptions. Cavatelli is a type of Italian pasta that may not be readily available in some local markets. It has a slightly chewy texture and a unique shell shape that holds sauce well. If unavailable, you can substitute it with orecchiette or fusilli. Pecorino Romano is a hard, salty Italian cheese, made out of sheep's milk, often used in pasta dishes.

Essential Ingredients for Summer Cavatelli with Corn, Tomatoes, and Zucchini

Cavatelli: This is a distinct Italian pasta with a crimped, shell-like shape that holds the sauce and other ingredients well.

Olive oil: It helps to cook the vegetables and add a subtle base flavor to the dish.

Corn: Fresh corn gives a sweet crunch that contrasts nicely with the soft pasta.

Cherry tomatoes: These add a burst of fresh, tangy flavor.

Zucchini: This summer squash adds a soft texture and mild flavor.

Garlic: Essential for imparting a robust flavor to the dish.

Kosher Salt: This is used to enhance the flavors of the dish.

Black pepper: Adds a hint of heat and depth of flavor.

Marinara sauce: A rich tomato sauce that adds depth and richness to the pasta.

Pecorino Romano: This cheese adds a salty, nutty flavor to the dish.

Fresh basil: It gives the dish an aromatic finish.

One reader, Christyna Rizzo says:

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This summer cavatelli recipe is a game-changer! The combination of fresh corn, juicy tomatoes, and tender zucchini creates a burst of flavors. The dish is light, yet satisfying, and the pecorino romano adds a delightful touch. It's a perfect way to savor the season's best produce. Highly recommended!

Christyna Rizzo

Techniques Required for Making This Summer Pasta Dish

How to cook the cavatelli: Cook the cavatelli according to the package directions, making sure to reserve some of the water before draining.

How to prepare the vegetables: Cut the corn kernels off the cob, slice the zucchini into half-moons, and halve the cherry tomatoes.

How to season the dish: Season the dish with salt and pepper to taste, adjusting as needed for the desired flavor.

How to serve: Serve the summer cavatelli with fresh basil and additional grated cheese if desired.

How To Make Summer Cavatelli with Corn, Tomatoes and Zucchini

Summer cavatelli is a quick and easy dish that’s perfect for those warm nights. The twenty-minute dish has corn, fresh tomatoes, and zucchinis.

Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Total: 20 minutes



  • 1lbcavatelli,fresh or frozen
  • 3tspolive oil
  • 2ears corn,kernels cut from the cob
  • 1pintcherry tomatoes,quartered
  • zucchini,(1½ cups), diced
  • 2clovesgarlic,sliced
  • 1tspkosher salt
  • black pepper,to taste
  • ¾cupmarinara sauce
  • 6tbsppecorino romano,grated, plus more for serving
  • 2tbspfresh basil,for garnish


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, add 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and garlic, and cook for about 1 minute, until golden and fragrant,.

  3. Add the tomatoes and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook for 3 minutes, until the tomatoes soften.

  4. Add the corn and zucchini and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until tender crisp.

  5. Add the marinara, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 1 minute until heated through.

  6. Meanwhile, cook the cavatelli according to package directions,reserving some of the water before draining, then toss with the marinara and vegetables.

  7. Add the grated cheese, remaining teaspoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper to taste and cook 1 minute, adding some of the reserved pasta water as needed.

  8. Serve right away with fresh basil and additional grated cheese if desired.


  • Calories: 429.20kcal
  • Fat: 7.41g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.31g
  • Trans Fat: 0.00g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 2.74g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.31g
  • Carbohydrates: 75.64g
  • Fiber: 6.88g
  • Sugar: 12.89g
  • Protein: 17.37g
  • Cholesterol: 9.24mg
  • Sodium: 600.10mg
  • Calcium: 162.31mg
  • Potassium: 1088.90mg
  • Iron: 2.61mg
  • Vitamin A: 70.28µg
  • Vitamin C: 49.44mg

Helpful Technique Tip for summer cavatelli with corn, tomatoes and zucchini recipe

When cooking the cavatelli, it's important to reserve some of the pasta water before draining. The starchy pasta water can be used to adjust the consistency of the sauce, making it silkier and helping it to adhere better to the pasta. This is a common technique in Italian cooking and can elevate your pasta dishes.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing summer cavatelli with corn, tomatoes and zucchini recipe

Prep ahead: Chop and prepare all the vegetables and ingredients in advance to streamline the cooking process.

One-pot wonder: Consider using just one large pot to cook the pasta and vegetables together, saving time on cleanup.

Multi-task: While the pasta is cooking, simultaneously prepare the sauce and vegetables to expedite the cooking process.

Fresh and frozen: Utilize frozen corn and store-bought marinara sauce to cut down on prep time without sacrificing flavor.

Quick cook: Opt for quick-cooking pasta shapes like cavatelli to reduce overall cooking time.

Efficient chopping: Use a sharp knife and efficient chopping techniques to speed up the vegetable preparation process.

Streamlined seasoning: Combine and season the ingredients efficiently to minimize the number of steps and save time.

Substitute Ingredients For Summer Cavatelli with Corn, Tomatoes and Zucchini Recipe

  • cavatelli - Substitute with orecchiette: Orecchiette is a similar pasta shape and will work well with the other ingredients in the recipe.

  • olive oil - Substitute with grapeseed oil: Grapeseed oil has a mild flavor and high smoke point, making it a good alternative for sautéing the vegetables.

  • corn - Substitute with peas: Peas can provide a similar pop of sweetness and color to the dish.

  • cherry tomatoes - Substitute with sundried tomatoes: Sun-dried tomatoes will add a concentrated burst of umami and sweetness to the dish.

  • zucchini - Substitute with yellow squash: Yellow squash has a similar texture and flavor profile to zucchini and can be used as a substitute.

  • garlic - Substitute with shallots: Shallots can provide a milder, sweeter flavor compared to garlic and will complement the other ingredients well.

  • marinara sauce - Substitute with tomato puree: Tomato puree can be used as a base for the sauce and can be seasoned to taste with herbs and spices.

  • pecorino romano - Substitute with parmesan: Parmesan cheese has a similar nutty and salty flavor to pecorino romano and can be used as a substitute in this recipe.

  • fresh basil - Substitute with fresh parsley: Fresh parsley can add a pop of freshness and color to the dish, similar to basil.

Best Way to Present This Colorful Summer Pasta

  1. Elevate the pasta: Gently twirl the cavatelli into a nest shape using tongs before placing it on the plate. This will create a visually appealing base for the dish.

  2. Garnish with fresh basil: Sprinkle torn basil leaves over the top of the dish for a pop of color and a burst of fresh flavor.

  3. Incorporate a touch of elegance: Use a fine grater to create delicate shavings of pecorino romano to sprinkle over the dish, adding a touch of sophistication.

  4. Create a vibrant color contrast: Arrange the vibrant cherry tomatoes and golden corn kernels strategically around the plate to create an eye-catching display.

  5. Emphasize the freshness of the ingredients: Highlight the seasonal produce by arranging the zucchini and corn in an artful manner, showcasing their natural beauty.

  6. Consider the plate shape and size: Choose a plate that complements the colors of the dish and allows the cavatelli and vegetables to be the focal point.

  7. Balance the elements: Ensure that each component of the dish is proportionally represented on the plate, creating a harmonious and visually appealing presentation.

  8. Add a final touch of finesse: Drizzle a small amount of high-quality olive oil around the edge of the plate for a polished finishing touch.

Essential Tools for Making summer cavatelli with corn, tomatoes and zucchini recipe

  • Large pot: A large pot is essential for boiling the cavatelli and other pasta. It should be big enough to hold the pasta and water comfortably.
  • Skillet: A skillet is used for sautéing the garlic, tomatoes, corn, and zucchini. It should have a wide surface area to accommodate the vegetables.
  • Colander: A colander is used for draining the cooked cavatelli or any other pasta after boiling.
  • Grater: A grater is used to grate the pecorino romano cheese, adding a delicious salty and nutty flavor to the dish.
  • Knife: A knife is needed for cutting the zucchini and basil into the desired shapes and sizes.
  • Cutting board: A cutting board provides a stable surface for chopping and preparing the zucchini and basil.
  • Tongs: Tongs are useful for tossing the pasta with the marinara and vegetables, ensuring even distribution of the ingredients.
  • Wooden spoon: A wooden spoon is used for stirring the vegetables and marinara sauce while cooking in the skillet.
  • Potato peeler: A potato peeler can be used to remove the corn kernels from the cob, making the process quick and efficient.
  • Measuring spoons: Measuring spoons are essential for accurately measuring the olive oil, salt, and pepper, ensuring the right balance of flavors in the dish.

Storing and Freezing summer cavatelli with corn, tomatoes and zucchini recipe

  • To store leftover summer cavatelli, allow it to cool completely to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3-4 days.
  • When reheating, add a splash of water or marinara sauce to the pasta to help restore moisture and prevent it from drying out. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until warmed through.
  • For longer storage, you can freeze the cavatelli. Place the cooled pasta in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Label the container with the date and freeze for up to 2-3 months.
  • To thaw frozen cavatelli, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it defrost overnight. Reheat as mentioned above, adding a bit more liquid to help revive the texture of the pasta and vegetables.
  • If you plan to freeze the dish, it's best to undercook the cavatelli slightly (al dente) so that it doesn't become mushy when reheated. The vegetables may also lose some of their crispness after freezing and thawing, but the overall flavor of the dish will still be enjoyable.

How To Reheat Leftover Summer Cavatelli

  • Reheat the leftover summer cavatelli in a large skillet over medium heat. Add a splash of olive oil or a knob of butter to prevent the pasta from sticking and to add extra flavor. Stir gently until the pasta is heated through and the vegetables are warm. If the pasta seems dry, add a splash of pasta water or chicken broth to help loosen the sauce and create a silky texture.

  • For a quick and easy reheat, place the leftover cavatelli in a microwave-safe dish. Cover the dish with a damp paper towel to prevent the pasta from drying out. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the pasta is heated through and the vegetables are steaming. If needed, add a splash of water or marinara sauce to help revive the dish.

  • Transform your leftover summer cavatelli into a delicious pasta bake. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Transfer the leftover pasta and vegetables to a baking dish. Top with a generous amount of shredded mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the pasta is heated through. For an extra crispy top, broil for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.

  • Create a delightful pasta frittata with your leftover summer cavatelli. In a large bowl, whisk together 6 eggs, 1/4 cup of milk, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the leftover pasta and vegetables. Heat a large, oven-safe skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil. Pour the egg and pasta mixture into the skillet and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the bottom is set. Transfer the skillet to a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the center is set. Serve hot, garnished with fresh basil leaves and grated Pecorino Romano cheese.

Interesting Fact About summer cavatelli with corn, tomatoes and zucchini recipe

The cavatelli in this recipe is a type of pasta that resembles small hot dog buns. It is a traditional Southern Italian pasta, often served with vegetable-based sauces.

Is Making summer cavatelli with corn, tomatoes and zucchini recipe at Home Cost-Effective?

This summer cavatelli with corn, tomatoes and zucchini recipe is highly cost-effective for a household. The use of seasonal vegetables and simple ingredients keeps the cost low. The dish offers a burst of flavors and textures, making it a delightful and satisfying meal. The approximate cost for a household of 4 people is around $15, making it an economical and delicious choice. Overall Verdict: 9/10

Is This Summer Pasta Dish Healthy or Unhealthy?

This summer cavatelli recipe is a relatively healthy dish, thanks to its generous use of fresh vegetables like corn, tomatoes, and zucchini. These ingredients provide a good amount of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The use of whole grain cavatelli pasta can further boost the nutritional value by adding more fiber and complex carbohydrates to the meal. The olive oil used in the recipe is a healthy source of monounsaturated fats, which can help reduce inflammation and improve heart health. However, there are a few aspects of the recipe that could be tweaked to make it even healthier:

  • Reduce the amount of pecorino romano cheese or opt for a lower-fat alternative to decrease the overall saturated fat content
  • Use a homemade marinara sauce with no added sugars or preservatives to have better control over the ingredients
  • Increase the proportion of vegetables to pasta to make the dish more nutrient-dense and lower in calories
  • Add lean proteins like grilled chicken or shrimp to make the meal more balanced and satisfying
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices, such as oregano or red pepper flakes, to add more flavor without relying on excessive amounts of salt or cheese

By making these small adjustments, you can transform this already tasty and wholesome summer cavatelli recipe into an even healthier and more nutritious meal that you can feel good about enjoying regularly.

Editor's Opinion on This Delightful Summer Pasta Recipe

This recipe for summer cavatelli with corn, tomatoes, and zucchini is a delightful celebration of seasonal produce. The combination of fresh vegetables, savory marinara, and pecorino romano creates a harmonious and satisfying dish. The use of cavatelli provides a perfect canvas for capturing the flavors of summer. The addition of fresh basil adds a pop of brightness to the dish. Overall, this recipe is a wonderful way to enjoy the bounty of the season in a simple and delicious manner.

Enhance Your Summer Cavatelli with Corn, Tomatoes and Zucchini Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus spears grilled to perfection and topped with a zesty lemon zest for a burst of flavor.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes infused with roasted garlic for a rich and savory side dish that pairs perfectly with the summer cavatelli.
Fruit Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing: A refreshing mix of seasonal fruits tossed in a sweet and tangy honey-lime dressing, adding a burst of freshness to your meal.

Similar Recipes to summer cavatelli with corn, tomatoes and zucchini recipe

Savory Ratatouille: A delicious French vegetable stew made with eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes, seasoned with herbs and garlic.
Grilled Peach and Prosciutto Salad: A refreshing salad featuring grilled peaches, prosciutto, arugula, and a balsamic glaze, perfect for a light summer meal.
Lemon Garlic Roasted Chicken: A flavorful and juicy roasted chicken dish marinated in a zesty lemon garlic sauce, served with roasted vegetables for a satisfying dinner option.

Appetizers and Desserts That Complement summer cavatelli with corn, tomatoes and zucchini recipe

Savory Stuffed Mushrooms: Create a delightful appetizer by stuffing mushrooms with a flavorful mixture of herbs, cheese, and breadcrumbs. Bake until golden and serve hot for a crowd-pleasing starter.
Crispy Zucchini Fritters: Shred zucchini and mix with herbs, cheese, and a touch of flour to create crispy fritters. Pan-fry until golden brown and serve with a side of creamy dipping sauce for a delicious appetizer option.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder for an elegant and decadent dessert experience.
Berry Parfait: Layer fresh berries with creamy Greek yogurt and crunchy granola for a light and refreshing parfait that's perfect for a summer treat. Top it off with a drizzle of honey for a touch of sweetness.

Why trust this Summer Cavatelli with Corn, Tomatoes and Zucchini Recipe:

This recipe guarantees a delightful summer dish, featuring fresh corn, tomatoes, and zucchini. The use of marinara sauce adds depth of flavor, while the addition of pecorino romano and fresh basil elevates the dish. The step-by-step instructions ensure a seamless cooking experience, and the incorporation of reserved pasta water helps achieve the perfect consistency. Trust in the harmony of these fresh ingredients and the expertise behind this recipe for a memorable dining experience.

Have you tried this Summer Cavatelli with Corn, Tomatoes and Zucchini Recipe? Share your experience and any tips in the Recipe Sharing forum!
Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe?
Yes, you can definitely use a different type of pasta if you don't have cavatelli. Fusilli, penne, or farfalle would work well with this recipe.
Can I use frozen corn instead of fresh corn?
Absolutely! If fresh corn is not available, frozen corn can be used as a substitute. Just make sure to thaw it before adding it to the recipe.
Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
While the dish is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the components ahead of time and assemble them when you're ready to eat. Just store the cooked pasta and the vegetable mixture separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator.
Can I make this recipe vegan?
Yes, you can easily make this recipe vegan by using a vegan-friendly marinara sauce and omitting the pecorino romano cheese. You can also substitute the cheese with nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor.
Can I add protein to this dish?
Certainly! Grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu would be great additions to this dish if you want to add some protein. Just cook the protein separately and add it to the dish when combining the pasta and vegetables.

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