Grilled Corn, Zucchini and Mint Pesto Pasta

Grilled Corn, Zucchini and Mint Pesto PastaIt’s summer, so corn is guaranteed to be somewhere in my kitchen.

I even put a wire basket on my kitchen counter that’s probably more suited to be a living room accessory filled with objects, but it’s great for holding corn.

Our living room, kitchen and dining room are in a single space, so the lines tend to blur. The best part of open plan living is that you don’t have to put items in exact categories.

Some of those cobs are raw, still tucked safe and snug in their husks. I am just patiently waiting to cook all of them.
Grilled Corn Zucchini and Mint Pesto PastaThe rest are down to kernels that I have already grilled and stripped from the cobs.

Leftover corn has become one of my daily summer staples. If I don’t have a container of cooked kernels in the fridge, things feel incomplete in my pantry. 

Lately, I’ve been throwing corn into everything from salads to scrambled eggs.

Noodles are another great way to use corn. I’ve had this grilled corn, zucchini and mint pesto pasta on repeat.
Grilled Corn Zucchini and Mint Pesto PastaThe first step is to make the pesto. It is my usual basil pesto recipe, but with a twist. Adding mint leaves gives the pesto a wonderful freshness.

Next I preheat the grill. 

I grill the shucked ears of corn alongside slices of zucchini. Then the corn is ready when it has just the right amount of char, and the zucchini is grill-marked.  

Corn, zucchini and mint are a reliable summer trio.  
Grilled Corn Zucchini and Mint Pesto PastaAny tubular noodle shape will work in this recipe, but I like casarecce, which are skinny rolls of pasta that really hold pesto. Penne rigate is another good option.

The grilled veggies and pasta aren’t quite enough. I fold in scallions, chives, arugula and torn fresh mozzarella.

Grilled corn, zucchini and mint pesto pasta can be served warm, at room temperature or chilled from the fridge.

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Grilled Corn, Zucchini and Mint Pesto Pasta

Grilled Corn Zucchini and Mint Pesto Pasta
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 17-20 minutes
  • Total Time: 37-40 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

For pesto
2 garlic cloves peeled
1 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup mint leaves plus more for serving
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 ounce grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

For pasta
3 corn cobs, shucked
2 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced lengthwise 1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound casarecce, penne or other tubular pasta
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 cup baby arugula
3 ounces fresh mozzarella, torn

Instructions

For the pesto, pulse the garlic cloves in a food processor until they are minced. Add the basil, mint, walnuts, Parmesan, salt and pepper and puree the mixture. While the motor is running, drizzle the olive oil through the feeder tube until the pesto is fully combined.

Preheat a gas or charcoal grill on high heat. Rub the corn and zucchini with olive oil. Grill the corn until it is lightly charred, about 5-7 minutes. Grilled the zucchini until it has grill marks, about 2-3 minutes per side. Let the corn cool slightly before slicing the kernels off the cobs and dice the zucchini.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add the corn, zucchini, scallions, chives, arugula and mozzarella. Stir in half the pesto and add more to your taste. (Any extra pesto can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.) Garnish with mint leaves before serving.

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