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What's Cooking? Summer Squash and Pancetta Pasta
Field Notes • Cookbook

What's Cooking? Summer Squash and Pancetta Pasta

Welcome to What's Cooking, our version of a good old fashioned recipe exchange! Share your recipes with us to be featured! Our team created this series as a way to exchange recipes between club members and friends around the country—sort of like setting the table together, even with miles between us. This recipe was submitted by Cynthia Griffiths, beloved Martha Stoumen Wines Community Member.


Serves: 4




• 1 pound dried spaghetti or bucatini
• 3 zucchini, sliced into coins
• 3 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
• 3 TBSP olive oil
• 1-2 tsp Calabrian chili paste (or more if you like really spicy)
• 4 ounces diced pancetta
• 1/4 cup Vermentino
• 1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (or parmesan or caciocavallo)
• Handful of basil, rolled and thinly sliced (chiffonade)




Bring a pot of water to boil, add a generous amount of salt, and cook pasta per box instructions to al dente. Reserve about 1/2-2/3 of a cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta.

As the pasta cooks, if you opt to use the pancetta, add 1 TBS of olive oil and the pancetta to a large saute pan and cook the pancetta until it's rendered most of the fat and is crispy (about 5 minutes). Remove the pancetta to a plate with a paper towel to absorb excess fat.

Using the rendered fat and, if necessary, an additional TBS of olive oil. toss in the garlic and Calabrian Chili paste and quickly flavor the oil.

Add the zucchini and spread it out as much as you can so the surface of the squash touches the bottom of the pan. Let it sit for a minute or so to caramelize a bit, and toss it around. Add the wine and continue to sauté the zucchini as the wine reduces a bit, another couple of minutes.

The goal is to have varying textures of squash—some soft and golden brown, and some just barely softened.

If you make this vegetarian, add 3 TBS of olive oil to the pan with the garlic and Calabrian Chili paste, and cook the zucchini as directed above.

Add the pancetta back to the pan, then toss in the cooked pasta. Toss to coat the pasta with the garlic, chili, wine. Add about 1/2 cup of the now salty, starchy pasta water and most of the grated cheese and toss again quickly to create a sauce and coat the pasta.

Serve the pasta topped with an additional sprinkling of cheese, the chiffonade basil, and a little olive oil.

Enjoy with the rest of the chilled Vermentino!