I bought 2 lbs of basil last weekend at the farm. Who am I? And am I planning to cook for an army of humans? Obviously Basil Vinaigrette Pasta was the natural way to put all of it to use!
If you've never made basil vinaigrette before, you need to drop whatever you're doing right this very minute, go to the store, buy all the ingredients, and then go find yourself a blender. It's the best multi-use sauce you could possibly make this summer, and it goes on EVERYTHING. You can put it on pasta, you can put it on chicken, you can put it on toast, and even on eggs! Like literally - case in point right here. But today, it's on this Basil Vinaigrette Pasta.
This time around the basil vinaigrette is getting tossed with some fresh short pasta and some summer veggies. It's perfection. The zucchini gives it some bite, the basil infuses everything it touches and the pasta is al dente just the way I like it. It's truly one of the easiest summer pasta dishes you could make! Serve it hot, cold or at room temperature and you're in business! And it will double as an incredible leftover lunch the next day! I know I said this is the only summer pasta recipe you'll need but I have another one to add to that list: my epic Summer Ratatouille Pasta recipe is an essential to this season!
And if you want to make a double batch of basil vinaigrette - be my guest! I made a triple batch and then froze it in ice cube trays so I could pop a few out whenever needed and use it on basically every summer recipe from now until October! It's also the best hack for winter when all the amazing fresh produce isn't as abundant everywhere. So if you need to add a little pizazz to any dish at a moment's notice, you can just pop a frozen cube of basil vinaigrette out of your freezer and voila, you have a little touch of summer in the dead of winter!
Stuck in a dinner rut? Looking for new delicious dinner ideas? Check out my roundup of 50+ easy dinner ideas here.
Basil Vinaigrette Pasta
- 1 pound pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 shallots thinly sliced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 zucchini cut into coins and quartered
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 lemon juiced
- Fresh basil and parmesan to garnish
For the Basil Vinaigrette:
- 1 shallot roughly chopped
- 2 cups tightly packed fresh basil leaves stems removed (about 4 ounces)
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes
- ½ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and red pepper flakes and sauté until fragrant. Add the zucchini and saute until just soft. Add the pasta and ½ cup of basil vinaigrette and toss to combine. Add more basil vinaigrette as needed. Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice and serve.
For the Basil Vinaigrette:
- Combine all the ingredients for the basil vinaigrette in a high powered blender and blend for 60 seconds until very smooth. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.