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Summer Squash Rigatoni Recipe

Summer Squash Rigatoni Recipe

Lightly adapted from here.
Servings 4 servings
Author Brandon Matzek


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 pounds mixed summer squash and zucchini, quartered lengthwise (or halved if small), sliced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red chile flakes, plus more for serving
  • 12 ounces rigatoni
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves


  1. Warm oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden around the edges (about 3 minutes). Add the squash and zucchini along with a couple pinches of salt, stirring to combine. Cook until squash and zucchini are tender (15 to 20 minutes), and the water that they’ve released has cooked off. Stir in red chile flakes, then season to taste with additional salt.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Drop in rigatoni and a few big pinches of kosher salt, stirring to combine. Once the water comes back to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and cook rigatoni until 2 minutes shy of al dente (about 10 minutes). Before you drain the rigatoni, scoop out a cup of starching cooking water, and set aside.
  3. Add rigatoni to the skillet along with Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup cooking liquid, stirring to combine. Cook until rigatoni is al dente (about 2 minutes more).* Take the skillet off the heat, stir in lemon juice and basil, and season to taste with salt.
  4. To serve, divide pasta between 4 shallow bowls, and top with additional red chile flakes and Parmesan cheese.

Recipe Notes

* When the pasta water and Parmesan cheese melt together, they’ll form a sauce that coats the rigatoni. If the pasta looks a bit dry, you can add a splash or 2 of pasta water. You won’t want liquid pooling up at the bottom of the skillet, so don’t add too much!