Fusilli with Sweet Corn, Pesto and Summer Vegetables

Apparently, French people think corn is for chickens. I, however, must disagree. I grew up between rural Massachusetts and New Jersey, where from early July to mid-September corn is sold at roadside farmer’s stands…. for human consumption. This recipe was my attempt to introduce a reluctant Frenchman to the joys of summer sweet corn, and also strives to showcase other summer produce. The pesto ties it all together, and fusilli is great for catching every last drop. Feel free to vary the amount of pesto and fresh herbs you use, depending on your taste. This dish works perfectly for a picnic or potluck, as it tastes delightful hot or cold.

Summer pasta basket


  • 1 white onion
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 zucchini (green or yellow)
  • 1 carton grape tomatoes
  • 2 ears fresh, sweet corn
  • sea salt, pepper
  • 2 cups fusilli pasta, white or whole wheat
  • 1/4 bunch fresh mint
  • 1/4 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1/4 bunch fresh basil
  • 1/4 heaping cup pesto (store-bought or homemade are both fine)
  • parmesan cheese

Fusilli pasta

pesto, from abovepesto, side view


Set a pot of salted water to boil.

Prepare vegetables. Wash mint, basil and parsley and set to dry. Wash zucchini and tomatoes, then shuck both ears of corn.

Cut zucchini into coins, then quarter. (Stack coins to expedite the process). Mince the onion, halve tomatoes and smash and roughly chop garlic cloves. Finally, cut corn kernels off the cobs.

cob and kernels kernels and knife

Heat olive oil on medium heat and sweat onion and garlic until almost. Don’t color. Add zucchini, then tomatoes and corn. (If the tomatoes and corn are fresh, they will need hardly any cooking at all).

summer veg, without herbs

Add salt and pepper, to taste. Finely chop parsley and mint, ribbon the basil, and toss them in at the end.

summer veg, with herbs

Gently, but thoroughly, incorporate pesto into the pasta, and then add vegetable mix. Finish with desired amount of parmesan cheese.

Summer pasta 1

summer veg 2

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