Corn and Zucchini Pasta Alfredo is the absolute perfect way to make an easy weeknight pasta dish shine with the best of the summer vegetables. It can easily be made with leftover zucchini and corn from a previous meal, or made fresh (like I did!) with freshly grilled zucchini and sweet corn on the cob.
The alfredo sauce is summer-ified as well, by lightening it up with some freshly squeezed lemon juice from grill-carmelized lemons. I got my inspiration for this recipe from The Kitchn’s Cream Triple Lemon Alfredo Sauce.
And seriously, with all these wonderful ingredients, what’s not to love?
As usual for us this summer, part of this dish came directly from our backyard garden! See that zucchini there?? Yup, straight from our garden box.
This dish is relatively simple, but does require getting some timing correct as you’re preparing everything. Here’s a list of some tips to make sure everything comes together without a hitch!
- Boil the corn before grilling. This ensures the corn is cooked through before you put it on the grill. I’ve found that grilling corn directly takes way too long and often will lead to very dehyrated kernels.
- Grill the vegetables and lemon together if you can, otherwise follow this order: lemons first, zucchini second, and corn last. Grilling it together will be the most efficient, but the caveat, of course, is having a big enough grill to do this. If using a small grill, or grill pan, I’d start with the lemons, do zucchini second, and finish with the corn (that way you can do some of the grilling before the corn is finished boiling!)
- Timing: Boil the pasta while you make your lemony alfredo sauce. The sauce is fast and easy, so it will be done when your pasta is done.
- Don’t forget to add hot pasta water to your sauce. The starch and salt from the pasta water helps improve flavor, consistency, and helps to “glue” the sauce to the pasta.
- Don’t have a grill, no problem! This recipe will still work if you don’t want to or don’t have access to a grill! I would recommend roasting the zucchini and lemon at about 425 degress for about 15 minutes. I’d skip roasting the corn, and just use it freshly boiled off the cob.
Pasta on the mind, but not feeling Zucchini and Corn Alfredo? You may also enjoy my other recipes:
- Sundried Tomato Angel Hair Pasta with Fresh Mozzarella
- Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs
- Gnocchi with Gorgonzola Sauce and Walnuts
- Pasta Salad with Lemon and Dill
Happy Monday and Happy Cooking!
Zuccchini and Corn Pasta Alfredo
- 1 lb Linguine
- 2 ears Sweet Corn
- 2 Zucchini sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
- 1 glug Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- 2 Lemons zested and quartered (reserve the zest)
- 2 cups Freshly Grated Parmesan divided
- Pinch Nutmeg To taste
- Salt and Pepper To taste
- 1/4 cup Toasted Pine Nuts Optional
- Handful Chopped parsley To garnish, optional
- Bring pot of water to boil on stove.
- Add corn to boiling water and boil for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile preheat grill or grill pan by heating to high heat.
- Prepare zucchini by tossing in a bowl with a glug of olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
- To grill: Place lemon and zucchini on the grill. Grill for about 2 minutes per side, or until tender and lightly charred. Transfer to plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Once corn is cooked, drain and immediately transfer to hot grill, periodically turning, until lightly charred all over – about 5 minutes total. (Note – grilling the corn is optional, it will be cooked fully after boiling).
- Remove lemons and corn and let cool briefly. When cool enough to handle, slice the corn from the cob and add corn to the plate with zucchini. When lemons are cool enough to handle, juice the lemons and reserve the juice for later.
- Refill the pot of water, add salt, and bring to boil. Add linguine and boil for 10 minutes (or per package instructions).
- While boiling linguine, prepare your alfredo sauce. In a skillet, bring heavy cream to simmer over medium heat. Add half of the parmesan and melt into the cream. Reduce heat to low, and simmer until mixture is thickened and coats the back of the spoon. Turn off heat and add about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, juice from the caramelized lemons, remaining parmesan, nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Mix in about 1/4 cup of additional hot pasta water and stir to combine.
- Add pasta to skillet with sauce. Add vegetables and toss to combine. Top with pine nuts and parsley, and additional black pepper, as desired.