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Penne Tricolore

Zucchini, summer squash and carrots are combined with Kalamata olives, basil and plenty of lemon to make a delightful summery pasta. If you've got a garden full of zucchini, use twice as much and simply omit the summer squash. Then you can call the dish "Penne Duecolore."

Plus: More Pasta Recipes and Tips

  • Servings: 4

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  • 3/4 pound penne rigate
  • 1 small zucchini, seeded and cut into 2-inch-long matchstick strips
  • 1 small summer squash, seeded and cut into 2-inch-long matchstick strips
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch-long matchstick strips
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata or other black olives, pitted
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper


  1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the penne rigate until almost done, about 11 minutes. Add the zucchini, summer squash, and carrots and bring back to a boil. Cook until the vegetables and penne are just done, about 2 minutes longer. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Drain the penne and vegetables.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the pasta, vegetables, 6 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water, olives, basil, Parmesan, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. If the pasta seems dry, add more of the reserved pasta water. Serve with additional Parmesan.


Seeding Zucchini and Summer Squash Because the zucchini and summer squash are boiled in this recipe, it's a good idea to seed them first. Otherwise, the pulpy seeds get water-logged. To remove them, cut the zucchini or squash into quarters lengthwise. Then simply cut off the seeds.

Suggested Pairing

A crisp, quintessentially summer white wine, such as a Fendant from Switzerland or an Orvieto or Soave from Italy, will accentuate the fresh basil and vegetables.

Photo © Melanie Acevedo

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