Author Notes: This recipe is inspired by a dish served at Grassa, a local restaurant specializing in house made pasta. The inspiration dish combines zucchini “noodles”, bucatini, hazelnut pesto, and mozzarella crema. My interpretation came about because my vegetable garden is flush with summer squash and cherry tomatoes, and I had left over pesto and fresh mozzarella from pizza night. —hardlikearmour
Serves: 2 (generous portions)
ounces whole wheat or regular spaghetti
medium to large summer squash
15 to 16
4 to 5
ounces ball fresh mozzarella
tablespoons brine from the mozzarella (or water)
tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus additional if desired
cup pesto, plus additional for garnish
- Bring 3 quarts water to boil, and season generously with salt. Once boiling add the spaghetti and stir. Cook until just toothier than desired.
- While the water is coming to a boil, prep the squash. If you have a more mature squash, cut in half and scoop out the seeds and spongy center. Use a julienne peeler or mandoline to cut the squash into long thin pieces — 2 1/2 to 3 lightly packed cups worth.
- While the spaghetti is cooking cut the cherry tomatoes into halves (quarters if they’re behemoth cherry tomatoes). Sprinkle lightly with salt. Place the mozzarella in a bowl, and use a large fork or whisk to mash until no large pieces remain. Stir/whisk in the brine and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Taste and add additional olive oil if desired
- When the spaghetti is almost done, add the squash to the water and stir for 45 seconds or so. Drain in a colander, shaking a few times to release most of the water.
- Place 1/4 cup pesto into large bowl, then transfer the spaghetti to the bowl. Stir to coat, then add half of the mozzarella mixture and stir again. Lastly stir in the cherry tomatoes. If you salted your water generously you probably won’t need to adjust with salt, but have a taste to be sure.
- Divide the noodles between 2 bowls, then equally divvy up the straggler cherry tomatoes between the bowls. Top each bowl with half the remaining mozzarella mixture, and a small dollop of pesto. Serve immediately.
Photo by hardlikearmour