I have a theory about zucchini.  Multiple theories actually.

The first being that they may or may not have brainwashed me.

Alternatively, they may or may not have implanted some kind of chip in my mind that allows them to control my actions from some remote location.

A headquarters of sorts.

It’s an either/or kind of situation.


All in the name of achieving their ultimate goal (and here is where my next theory comes in).  Of creating a new world order.  Staging a takeover, if you will.

Achieving world dominance.


I am convinced that they are sitting around in a crevice in a mountain somewhere.  With walkie talkies.  Black eye masks.  Tattoos.  Remote controls that are governing my every movement.


How do I know?

I went to the Farmer’s Market in Union Square on Saturday with a list.  That list did not have a single summer squash on it.  Oh sure, it had items like eggplant.  Tomatoes.  Peppers.  Basil.  Preferably purple. (Although this too failed me when it proceeded to wilt within an hour of arriving at my apartment.  For shame.)  But no summer squash.

(You see.  I don’t even really like summer squash.  At least not in comparison to the myriad of vegetables out there that I crave on a daily basis.  And yet, have you noticed the abundance of zucchini around here lately?  A recipe a week.  For how many weeks now?  A lot.  A.  Lot.)

Anyway, back to the Farmer’s Market. I walked down there.  All the while thinking to myself, I do not need zucchini this week.  No siree.  Don’t need it.

And then, I step onto the scene.  And to what vegetable do I beeline first?

I’m not even dignifying that with a response.

You know what vegetable.

And the thing is, that we can try to fight them.  Try to resist.  Build walls and trap doors within the subconscious layers of our minds (Inception-style) so that if they try to enter, they’ll just get lost amidst the mire and confusion.

But they’ll be back.  In full-on, bumper crop fashion.  And when they are.  We won’t stand a chance. They’ll be everywhere.  Watching us.  Biding their time.

You’ll see.


Remember to email me your entries for Regional Recipes: PUERTO RICO by the end of the month!

Italian Sausage and Summer Squash Pasta
Serves 1

2 oz pasta, I used whole wheat rigatoni
1 link spicy Italian chicken sausage
1 zucchini or summer squash
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. Set a pot of water to boil.

2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat with a little bit of olive oil or cooking spray.  Remove the sausage from it’s casing and, breaking it up into chunks as you go, add it to the pan.  Use a wooden spoon or spatula to break the sausage up as it cooks, creating crumbles.

3. Cut the zucchini or summer squash into dice.  When the sausage has just gotten crispy, around the time when the water for the pasta is boiling, add the zucchini to the sausage pan and add the pasta to the boiling water.  Cook the pasta to desired consistency.  When it is done, strain, and add to sausage pan.  Saute for about 30 seconds, mixing and stirring frequently.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Pour pasta mixture on a plate.  Top with parmesan cheese and basil.  In this case – purple basil!  Enjoy.

This is my submission to this week’s Presto Pasta Nights, which is being hosted by Katie of Thyme for Cooking and to Weekend Herb Blogging which is being hosted by Marija of Palachinka, and to Two for Tuesdays!


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at https://joanne-eatswellwithothers.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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89 Responses to Italian Sausage and Summer Squash Pasta

  1. Simply Life says:

    yum! i just want to take a fork and dig right in!

  2. Shannon says:

    resistance is futile joanne 🙂 looks delicious!!

  3. Nelly says:

    Purple basil is the BEST. I had a big huge bush of it growing in my garden, but apparently the rabbits and deer discovered how delicious it is last week and it’s pretty much gone :/

  4. Lori says:

    Love this post, because I do exactly the same thing. When I go to our little Farmer’s Market I always come back with something I hadn’t intended to buy. All good stuff, but never in the plan. This dish looks so great!

  5. The sausage makes up for any other flavor in there so you have to win with this one.

  6. Kim says:

    I love that purple basil, so pretty! I wonder if anyone’s ever made pesto with purple basil..wonder if it would be pretty or just get too dark? Hmm…just thinking out loud. I can’t seem to resist buying zucchini and summer squash either. It’s just so versatile. This looks delicious!

    P.S. I’ve never found whole wheat rigatoni. I’ll have to keep an eye out. Rigatoni is one of our favorite shapes.

  7. Um Yum! I have a ton of summer squash in my garden and it is so hard to figure out what to do with it. I am going to make a stuffed squash at some point this week. This dish looks great!

  8. I am glad you bought the zucchini. I LOVE it!! I do believe there is a conspiracy at farmers markets too, I’ve gone there with an agenda and completely find myself transfixed with things I normally wouldn’t think about. Then I get home and it’s like, “now what am I going to do with this?” That happened to me with eggplant. I don’t normally cook with it. Now I have to figure out what to do with it!

    This looks so simple and easy!! The purple basil makes it look so pretty!

  9. newlywed says:

    What a gorgeous dish, with the yellow and the purple. I adore purple basil (okay, I adore purple, I adore basil, it had me quickly), but I hate the whole “I am basil and I shall wilt the second you take me home” phenomenon! I’ve tried planting it, but I am, I confess, Plant Hitler, so must resort to finding friendlier basil at the store.

  10. It not only controls our minds but it also wants to control all garden space with its dominance. Control is the key word. That it does in abundance.

    What a delicious way to use it with pasta, sausage and basil. Love the look of that purple basil in this dish!

  11. this looks like my dinner most days yum

  12. polwig says:

    Why fight them when you can make this. Plus now with new cookbooks I am sure you have a lot tasty recipes to try.

  13. Kristen says:

    I’d like an order of that pasta to go, please. Heavy on the sausage. Sadly, I think the fed-ex man would eat it.

  14. girlichef says:

    World Domination…mwaaa haa haa haa!!! LOL. This is such a delicious summer pasta dish…I’m pretty sure I’ve fallen under its spell… Sounds sooo good =) Thanks for sharing it with Two for Tuesdays!!

  15. Ameena says:

    I have no problem with zucchini dominating me or my meals. Right now, since I am in the midst of Ramadan, I could eat pretty much anything. I am even debating going back to meat. I am that desperate. 🙂

    This looks fabulous, as always!

  16. Stella says:

    Hee Hee! I just pulled the last of the summer squash out of my Mom’s garden yesterday. I was sad about it. The squash and the cucumbers were so good! Oh well, summer will come again (God Willing-smile).
    This sounds delicious too, Joanne. I love that you used whole grain pasta-that’s nice. I’m going to make this for my parents this week just with the minor change of turkey sausage. Thanks!

  17. Julie says:

    for real summer squash is SO in right now. whenever i’m out east i beeline it for the yellow squashies just because they look so gawj so i don’t blame you for getting some. actually i would be quiiite mad at you if you didn’t!

  18. Dawn says:

    Love the simple ingredients!

  19. Amy says:

    Last weekend at our local Farmer’s Market there was a zucchini that…well…I’d never seen anything like it. It could have fed an army. And it was natural and organic? I dunno. It was pretty obscene.

    I bet you cannot wait until Fall when you can start your plethora of squash experimentation again. I, however, want summer to go on and on and on and…..

    Oh, and p.s. I am hosting PPN next week – I’m hoping for a Joanne submission!

  20. Pam says:

    This looks delicious and I’m all for summer squash, especially with Italian sausage! Thanks for the recipe!

  21. Monet says:

    That purple basil makes the dish! I love the contrasting colors. I’m not a big fan of summer squash…I like it, but I would always prefer some other veggie. However, in a pasta dish like this…I could be convinced.

  22. Katerina says:

    I guess one has to succumb to his/her fate eventually. Just follow the stream to where it takes you. That’s my moto the last few years. Don’t fight it, just try to make the best out of it. And you did. This dish is great in colors and flavors.

  23. elra says:

    Yummy!!!! Italian sausage is my family favorite as well.

  24. Victoria K. says:

    What a perfect meal for one!! I personally LOVE zucchini and summer squash, so I’m happy they are controlling my mind 🙂 Sausage adds the perfect touch, yum.

  25. Raina says:

    Great summer dish! I love summer squash. It is one of my favorite veggies…glad they have a hold on you..lol That way I get to enjoy all of your great recipes with them:)

  26. Beautiful dish all the way around. Great flavors for the palate and vibrant colors for the eyes.

  27. Swathi says:

    Beautiful colorful dish, i like the zucchini and basil in them.

  28. Elizabeth says:

    The Zucchini Industrial Complex wins again. Yesssss!

  29. Awesome recipe! I think I found Sunday’s meal for my dad. I can’t believe Union Square did not have summer squash, so odd!

  30. R. says:

    Looks good! Love zucchini/squash in anything!

  31. Mo says:

    Dude, I have the same problem. I actually kind of detest zucchini yet sometimes I’m like, “I should get a zucchini. Or 5.” !?

    The dish looks faaabulous, though. 🙂

  32. Alisa says:

    OH my gosh,you are so right! Zucchini and summer squash rank low on my list of summer-likes, yet I always buy them for some reason. I end up cooking with them and thinking “Meh” every time, but then buy them again! Seriously, what is up with that? Fortunately, like you, I’ve found that sausage pasta is a cure-all for too much summer squash!

  33. Purple basil?! We’ve never heard of such things in the suburbs of New Jersey. That’s preposterous.

    Also, I noticed you only made pasta for one. I like that. But what if you want more the next day? Because looking at this, I’m SURE I’d want more the next day.

  34. teresa says:

    squash really is one of those veggies that sneaks in without you ever planning on it! i get it every time i shop and it’s always the first one i use too. i LOVE what you did with this pasta. i usually only serve it as a side dish, i never thought to incorporate it into a main dish!

  35. Haha I guess I must be weak, because I’d gladly give in to these wily zucchini invaders. Your pasta looks fantastic.

  36. Karen says:

    I love this kind of pasta – and I eat the leftovers for breakfast the next day 🙂

  37. looks lovely & very healthy…

  38. I have never seen purple basil in my life! The summer squash pasta salad looks fabulous!

  39. Justin says:

    ha, i’ve got some huge zucchini at home that i’m making tonight… i was at the Union Square market on Saturday too.

  40. janet says:

    I agree, Joanne : it is hard to resist zucchini especially when they are only 50 cents a pound… but I shunned them for eggplants and green beans this week. We’ll see how they turn out together with a little pomegranate molasses. 🙂 Stay tuned!

    If I do manage to succumb to the zucchini, this is on my hitlist: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Zucchini-Basil-Soup-242831

  41. This looks so delicious. And I love that it only serves one… because i know my picky boyfriend will not eat zucchini, even if it is delicious! This is all for me!

  42. Isn’t it funny how that happens? Those veggies have some sort of power over my brain when I go to the market too. I get home with all kinds of things that I never planned to get. But the good thing is, they all turn out to be things that I never knew I wanted until I had them. So it’s all good. 🙂 Your sausage and squash pasta looks amazing. Thanks for sharing it!

  43. I’m really starting to feel like I’ve been left out of summer squash/zucchini season this year. For some reason, I haven’t been inundated like usual. And, now, I kind of wish I had been. I love summer squash with pasta. This looks great!

  44. Giovanna says:

    I love the way the purple basil looks up against that yellow of the squash!
    Looks oh so yummy!!!!

  45. Debinhawaii says:

    I thought I heard them whispering when I walked by them at the farmers market–sneaky little devils! 😉 The pasta looks delicious–of course you had me at sausage…

  46. Suman Singh says:

    pasta looks yummy..feel like having it right now..yumm

  47. grace says:

    bring on the sausage! i submit that every pasta dish ever should contain sausage, or at the very least, pig in some form. 🙂

  48. I love pasta, this is another recipe I should try in the future. Thanks for sharing :). Just stumbled upon your blog and love it. Will keep visiting in the future!

  49. Little Inbox says:

    Purple basil? I have not seen one before. Does it taste the same as green basil?

  50. I like that you used purple basil! I was impressive the number of stands that had zucchini and heirloom tomatoes. This looks like a good simple pasta dish for those busy weeknights.

  51. This is an excellent summer pasta, very nice with zucchini and purple basil!

  52. Your pasta dish looks heavenly – fabulous photos too! Interesting theory about zucchini…will have to keep my eye on them – lol!

  53. Jo jo, as always the story you tell is almost as good as the recipe you share! Yes, I CAN see squash as being mind controlling vegetators! :)This looks so simple yet the flavors are robust! Purple basil adds such a visual kick doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing this on the two for tuesday recipe blog hop and I am gonna share it on my thoughts on friday blog hop highlights! 🙂 Alex@amoderatelife

  54. I love the way you write — you’re hilarious imagery! I rarely use zucchini or summer squash in my cooking. I feel so un-creative with it. Thanks for this post — it’s actually something I see myself making. Better luck next time at the market…be strong 🙂

  55. katiez says:

    I planted them.
    Need I say more? But I didn’t want to plant 4… must be the conspiracy. I’ve been doing a lot with yellow squash and purpla basil this summer, too (planted that also)

  56. MaryMoh says:

    Lovely dish. I love zucchini…always stir fry it. I have to try it in pasta or noodles……sounds delicious.

  57. Foodjunkie says:

    Hehe! I am on a zucchini bender myself, so I think you are right: they have brainwashed us!

  58. Eliana says:

    I love your theories. You’re such a wise woman.

  59. Luigi says:

    Oh wow I have alot of catching up to do, you have decorated. Looks nice, but not as nice as your food! Beautifully photographed, and written recipes. Can’t wait to read back through the posts i’ve missed.

    Hope all is well with you an Mari 🙂

  60. Christy says:

    Bwahaha – world domination and squash with eye patches – I will be on the look out so I am not taken in too – loved the post and especially the recipe! thanks for linking another fun post to Two for Tuesdays!

  61. All I can say is NEVER go to sleep with an uneaten zucchini in the house! Timid little summer squash are o.k. to keep around; but, the zucchini can really take over so beware! That being said, your preparation looks and sounds delicious! And, try to find a “zucchini left behind” support group before attending your next market!!


  62. Biren says:

    I like the colors in this pasta and the chicken sausages too!

  63. Jamie says:

    This is the perfect summer pasta! It looks so delicious.

  64. tigerfish says:

    I am not a fan of summer squash and it is not in my shopping list this moment. Talking about shopping list, I often end up with groceries not originally in my list too :O

  65. Marisa says:

    Hahahahahahahahahaha, you’re so funny Joanne! Evil, conspiring zucchinis! Love it.

    Oh and I also wouldn’t mind a heaping bowlful of that pasta. No sirree. Looks pretty similar to something I made the other day (not blogged though). Great minds truly do think alike. Even though they are both (probably) remote controlled.

  66. Pierce says:

    Good stories and good food…that’s why I love visiting you!

  67. Pam says:

    I really, really, REALLY think you should be a writer… you have a way with words lady! You also make killer pasta recipes that make me drool.

  68. Mo Diva says:

    im kinda sorta madly deeply in love with the photos of that delicious pasta. is it serious that i can tell exactly how perfect it tastes just based on these photos alone??
    WaNT. NEED. DYING. for Pasta!
    Look, make this for me, and I will take us to SPOT Dessert Bar, where we can have coconut chocolate gooey cookies bigger than my head.

  69. See and I love zucchini, so that makes it even worse. If squash takes over the world, I’m in. Consider me first in line to become a pod person. Or squash person, or whatever.

  70. Any chance you can ship a dish of that to Arizona?

  71. Yummy looking pasta and happy to hear you finally admitting your love of squash! Love the purple basil in it. 🙂 My favourite squash are the baby pattypan ones mmm.

  72. Zucchini domination has now crossed the Atlantic… I got contaminated soon after reading your zucchini crudo recipe. These pasta are making the addiction symptoms worse. I have just finished my quick version of zucchini crudo and am wondering whether to go back to the kitchen for a vegetarian version of these pasta or not…

  73. Mmm my stomach is grumbling. I really, really wish I had a big bowl of this in front of me right now!


  74. Maybe I should call the authorities (or are they in on it, too, CONSPIRACY! Mulder!) The darned things have taken over about half my yard. Two days ago, I cut back about half of their leaf mass, and miraculously, the summer squash plants are back to full size already. Thanks for linking up with Two for Tuesday. You’ve got some great recipes, but I really just look forward having a good laugh when I read your posts 😉

  75. Faith says:

    I actually picked up summer squash yesterday when I went shopping! I was thinking of incorporating it into a pasta dish and now I’m convinced. 😉

  76. Nessie says:

    They will never win. We have an invincible counter attack: eat on contact! Funny how you guys call them squash…to me a squash is like a pumpkin. We call zucchinis, courgettes down under 🙂 Never seen purple basil before either…looks stunning! Such a deep colour for a herb 🙂

  77. Reeni says:

    I love, love, love it! I too thought I didn’t like yellow squash but they have a way of sucking you in. All you can do is make the best of it. And that you did!

  78. RamblingTart says:

    Oh you crack me up, Joanne. 🙂 LOVE zucchini now that I’m a “grown-up” – but it sure wasn’t a favorite when I was a kid. 🙂

  79. Jessie says:

    Ah Joanne, I, too, understand the irresistible draw of seasonal vegetable. Whenever I visit a farmstand, I am drawn to ruffly kale like bees to … well, you know. I eat far too much of kale for my own good. I think you have dealt with your summer squash phase quite well, and cooked a delicious dish to boot! Well done!

  80. theUngourmet says:

    I love the yellow squash with that awesome purple basil! So far I’ve only picked up the regular zucchini at the market. Maybe this weekend I’ll pick up some of the yellow. What a pretty dish!

    Looks like the dot com is working out. 🙂

  81. Kerstin says:

    I love any kind of squash – summer, winter, you name it 🙂 This really looks like the perfect way to enjoy your farmer’s market bounty!

  82. Carolyn Jung says:

    Zucchini — the cockroach of veggies? heehee

  83. Elizabeth says:

    Yum! I just recently discovered summer squash and just love it. I bet it paired nicely with the sausage.

  84. Joanne – great post, and that is totally my kind of pasta dish – I’ll remember it when squash make their play for world domination in my hemisphere – in about 6 months time 🙂

  85. Claudia says:

    You are so funny. The great zucchini world take-over. Luckily however, there are just as many recipes online for using those suckers up. And, probably all of us have contributed at least one.

  86. Joanne- Thank you so much for opening my eyes to the fact that the summer squash are staging a takeover. In order to help spread this important information, I’ve selected your post to be featured as one of my picks for Best of the Blog Hop this week 😉

  87. […] better, I would swear that Joanne, of Eats Well With Others had been raiding my garden.  Her Italian Sausage and Summer Squash Pasta has both the yellow courgette and purple basil I have been using with abandon all […]

  88. Ashley says:

    Can you use italian sausage patties? Do you think it would work the same?

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