Late Summer Grilled Veggie Pasta with Walnuts and Mint


by Tori Pintar

This pasta is inspired by a pizza I had at my favorite local restaurant and a recipe from a new debut cookbook by Joshua McFadden, the king of all things vegetable. As summer creeps along there’s nothing better than the produce that begins to ripen in the fields, especially corn. Sure, you can buy corn year round and in surplus come June but nothing beats corn just harvested from a nearby farm or your own backyard if you are so lucky as to be able to grow your own corn. As we head into that time of year I wanted to give you a pasta dish that celebrates the best of late summer. In McFadden’s recipe he laces raw corn kernels with mint and toasted walnuts. My pizza paired the corn with charred shishito peppers and herbs. I married the two and added another late summer veggie that everyone always has too much of, zucchini. Unable to get shishito peppers I used padron this round, but feel free to swap in shishitos. If you can get your hands on just picked corn I recommend taking the route that McFadden does and serving the corn raw, as I bet it would be delicious just warmed through with the pasta. Just cut it off the cob fresh and add the raw kernels in step 8 to your olive oil. Otherwise, grill it as I have done here. Happy summer!

Late Summer Grilled Veggie Pasta with Walnuts and Mint

Serves 2

  • 2 ears of corn, husked
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 1/2 pint padrón peppers
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil, separated
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 package Blue Evolution Super Seaweed Rotini
  • Juice of one lime
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup toasted, chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup grated mild goat cheddar


  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high. You want a higher temp that will mostly char your veg and just begin to cook the outside preserving the texture of the veggies inner flesh. Adjust temperature according to how hot your grill runs.
  2. Cut zucchini into rounds about 1/4” thick.
  3. Add 1 tsp olive oil to a medium bowl. Add padrón peppers and toss to coat. Add zucchini and toss to coat. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Don’t feel the need to de-stem your peppers at this point, it’s very easy to do after cooking.
  4. Place de-husked corn cobs directly on your grill. Rotate intermittently allowing them to char in places until the exterior is fairly charred and it’s just beginning to cook through. This will take about 7-12 minutes depending on your grill. Set aside and allow to cool enough that you get your fingers on them with out burning.
  5. If your grill runs hot, reduce heat to medium and add zucchini and peppers directly to your grill surface and cook with the lid open. Use a BBQ grill pan if your grate has wide spacing. After about 3 minutes check your peppers and if they’re looking charred turn them over. Next check your zucchini and depending on their thickness turn when a good char has just begun. Cook another 2-4 minutes on the other side. Grill times truly vary greatly so please watch your vegetables and use these times as a loose guide. It’s really important that you don’t overcook the zucchini because it becomes mush, so err on the crunchier side of life.
  6. Meanwhile bring 1 ½ quarts of water to a boil. Add ½ package of pasta and cook per Blue Evolution’s instructions. Once al dente, drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water.
  7. Return to your corn and using a sharp vegetable knife cut the kernels from the cob. De-stem your peppers and roughly chop.
  8. Return pasta pot to stove and heat remaining two teaspoons of olive oil over the medium-high heat. Add corn, zucchini, and peppers and stir to coat and begin warming through, about 1-2 minutes. Add pasta and stir again, as well as 2 tablespoons reserved pasta water. Lower heat if it’s spattering profusely. Heat an additional minute or so until everything is warmed through, being careful not to overcook your perfectly grilled veggies. Remove from heat and stir in most of the mint, reserving a little for garnish and all your citrus juice. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper and adjust with more pasta water if the pasta is sticking or more citrus for added zing.
  9. Serve topped with grated goat cheese, chopped walnuts and the remaining mint. Enjoy immediately.

Notes: Use this recipe as a baseline and feel free to try different flavors based on what you have on hand. Suggestions include, basil instead of mint. Cotija for the goat cheddar. Charred jalapeno slices in place of the peppers for more heat. Fresh cherry tomatoes would make an excellent final addition if your garden is brimming with those.