Pasta with Summer Squash and Chorizo

Pasta with Summer Squash and Chorizo

Summer squash is blended into a velvety sauce for pasta shells in this chorizo-studded, weeknight-friendly recipe.


  • 9 small Gold Bar or summer squash (about 2 3/4 pounds), divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling, divided
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon water (optional)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1 (8-ounce) beefsteak tomato, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 12 ounces lumache or other short pasta such as conchiglie, penne, or ziti
  • 12 ounces fresh Mexican chorizo
  • 1/4 cup torn fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • Finely chopped fresh chives
  • Grated Grana Padano cheese
  • Aleppo pepper


  1. Halve 5 squash lengthwise; thinly slice each half into half-moons, and set aside, reserving 1/2 cup for garnish. Thinly slice remaining 4 squash.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium stockpot over medium. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add carrots, garlic, and thinly sliced squash; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon water, if needed, to avoid browning. Add broth and chopped tomato. Bring mixture to a boil over high; reduce heat to medium-low, and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid reduces by three-fourths, 35 to 40 minutes. (You will have about 1 1/2 cups.)
  3. Transfer squash mixture to a blender; secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening; process until mixture is very smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Remove towel; slowly add 1/4 cup oil, processing until well combined, about 15 seconds. Pour sauce through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt; set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Add pasta, and cook according to package directions for al dente. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup cooking liquid; set pasta and reserved cooking liquid aside.
  5. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add chorizo; cook, stirring occasionally to break up into small pieces, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer chorizo to a plate, and set aside; reserve drippings in skillet. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to drippings in skillet; heat over medium-high. Add squash half-moons and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring often, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  6. Reduce heat to medium; add reserved pasta, blended squash mixture, chorizo, and 1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid. Cook over medium, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens to lightly coat pasta, about 3 minutes. (Add up to 1/2 cup remaining cooking liquid as needed to thin sauce.) Remove from heat, and fold in torn basil leaves. Serve pasta garnished with reserved 1/2 cup squash half-moons, additional basil leaves, chives, cheese, Aleppo pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil.

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