a summery pantry pasta

summer pantry pasta

We always start out the week with the best intentions. On Sunday night, I make a menu for the coming week and I write up a grocery list for Monday so I'm ready to do all the shopping. The process takes me (what feels like) all day. I'm easily distracted and have been known to fall down a pretty deep rabbit hole of recipe research. I'm also pretty picky. I want to make sure I have a menu I'm excited about, one that will be healthy as well as satisfying and will be tolerated by adult and toddler. It can be a little over the top and I should probably simplify my strategy, but somehow, I find joy in the long and sometimes grueling process.

I generally have a meal planned for every night and I use the leftovers for lunches and carry over for other recipes. A whole roasted chicken can turn into many meals, which is helpful because that really cuts down on the prep time for following meals. Lately, I have been leaving one night free for going out or for left overs. This gives me a chance to use up any ingredients I didn't end up using. These are the nights I rely on my pantry to give the left overs new life. A well stocked pantry and a little knowledge can put dinner on the table with little effort which is especially useful when your toddler is losing every ounce of composure and he needs to have a face full of pasta at that very second. It's basically a zoo around here. 

summer pantry pasta

Feeding yourself, let alone your family can feel like a really big job. It takes time to plan, to cook, to clean and sometimes doesn't feel worth it, especially if cooking doesn't come easy for you. Some of that stress can be eleviated by learning some simple skills. Like being able to pull out a box of pasta and have a hearty meal for your family without thinking about it. In the next couple of weeks, I'll be launching some new categories, to help you get dinner on the table faster by learning how to use your pantry, knowing what foods go together and helping you with some time saving techniques and tips. Until then, throw together a big pot of pasta and start getting a feel for the kinds of meals you can make on the fly. If you're really wanting to dive into this process further, I'll be teaching a class on September 12th where I'll be teaching you how to become a pantry wizard. It's going to be a great time! We'll learn, eat and hopefully laugh a lot. I'd love to see you there!

summer pantry pasta

 This is a pantry recipe, so if you don't have some of the ingredients, try to see if you have a substitute already before running out the store. If you don't have corn, but you've got some peas, use those instead. If you don't have zucchini, use yellow summer squash. Take a look at what's in your fridge and use what you think will work. Experimenting is the first step toward becoming a better cook. If you're stumped, leave a comment and I'll do my best to guide you. Happy cooking!

summery pantry pasta // serves 4


  • 3/4 pound dried orecchiette
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cobs of corn, kernels cut off
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 small zucchini, diced small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups kale, stems removed and finely chopped
  • freshly grated parmesan


  1. Fill a large pot 3/4 full of water. Add the kosher salt and bring to a rapid boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta in a colander being sure to save 1/4 cup pasta water. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside. 
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat the butter and olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet until the butter is melted. Add the onion, corn and oregano with a pinch of kosher salt. Saute until the corn is almost cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Add the zucchini, kale and garlic and cook until the kale is starting to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta to the skillet and toss well. Moisten with pasta water if the pasta starts to look a little dry, about a tablespoon at a time. Top with a generous amount of freshly grated parmesan and mix to combine. Divide among four bowls topping with extra parmesan, because, DUH, cheese. 

friday favs

It's Friday at 3pm and that means we have all checked out of whatever work duties we still have and are meticulously planning something epic for the last weekend of summer. I hope you have grand plans filled with BBQ's, bathing suits and maybe even a little booze. Monday is the first day of fall and I'm gonna do my best to hit it hard because I wait for it all year long, so for the next two days I'm going to eat tomatoes, cook outside and hang with friends until the sun goes down.

To help you kick off the weekend a little early, here are a few of my favorite things this week. These will help you finish out the summer strong by eating well and looking good doing it. I'll see you in the fall! 

(click on the images to be directed to the place where you can buy it or make it)

  1. Ridiculously delicious (and vegan!) mayo from a jar. It's just as good as homemade. Seriously. just mayo // hampton creek

  2. Grilled avocado. Grapefruit. OH YUM. grapefruit chermoula with grilled avocado // bon appetite

  3. These add the perfect touch of femininity without being overboard and they go with everything. I just might not ever take them out. bar studs // made well

  4. Super comfy and a great fit. I'm never buying t-shirts from anyone else ever. Oh, and they have super transparent manufacturing practices. SO, pretty much perfect. cotton v in muted black // ever lane

  5. We eat tofu every week and this has become our absolute favorite. It's perfect for scrambles or baked tofu and it's organic and HMO free, to boot. firm tofu // hodo soy 

  6. THE BEST hazelnut milk and the perfect coffee creamer. hazelnut milk // oh she glows

  7. We should probably knit this sweater. We can also have someone knit it for us, but we can totally handle this. vivienne cardigan// wool and the gang

  8. I bet coffee tastes better in this beautiful mug. large camp mug // mazama wares 

  9. I completely wore out my other Target sandals this summer so I think I'll have to replace them these and since winter doesn't come to California until January (if at all) I'll get some good use out of them before I need to wear boots. shauna huarache sandal // target

  10. This cake is delicious AND it's gluten free with only two flours. Winning! I want to eat this for breakfast for the rest of the month. chocolate zucchini cake // edible perspective

Disclaimer: this post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own. I just really like this stuff.