Skillet Pesto Penne with Asparagus & Patty Pan Squash Relish

Skillet Pesto Penne

with Asparagus & Patty Pan Squash Relish


Sweeter and more flavorful than your standard zucchini or summer squash, patty pans are a special seasonal treat. They have unique scalloped edges, and few seeds, which makes them perfect for our quick relish. Seasoning at every level is important as a home cook, we encourage you to taste at different points (especially the pesto) and salt accordingly. The layers of flavor compliment each other, so be sure to get some of each in every bite.

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30 min


  1. 6 oz asparagus
  2. 4 oz patty pan squash
  3. 1 shallot
  4. 1 oz walnuts
  5. 1 lemon
  6. Fresh basil
  7. 2 oz baby spinach
  8. 1 garlic clove
  9. ¼ cup almonds
  10. 8 oz Banza penne pasta
  11. ¼ cup + 1 tbsp olive oil*
  12. Salt and pepper*
  13. *Not included
  14. **Allergens: Tree Nuts


  • Large pot
  • Large skillet
  • Food processor


Set the stage

Rinse and dry the produce. Fill a large pot with water, season with salt, and place over high heat. Thinly slice the asparagus on the diagonal. Trim the ends of the patty pan squash and small dice. Peel and mince the shallot.

Make the relish

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the walnuts and cook, shaking pan frequently, until nuts are fragrant and toasted, about 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool. Combine the diced patty pan squash, minced shallot, toasted walnuts, and 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium bowl. Zest the lemon, and add to to the bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir relish well to combine.

Blend the pesto

In a food processor, combine the basil, spinach, garlic, almonds, and ¼ cup water. Pulse 3 to 4 times to mix everything together. Turn processor on high, and with motor continuously running, slowly add 3 tbsp olive oil. When the pesto is done, it will be well mixed but still have some texture. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta

Once the water is boiling, add the Banza penne, stir, and cook until al dente, about 6 to 8 minutes. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking liquid and drain the pasta in a colander.

Pasta and pesto

Wipe the large skillet clean, return to medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Once hot, add the sliced asparagus and cook until bright green and just tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooked penne, pesto, and half of the reserved pasta water. Toss pasta to combine with pesto and cook until warmed through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Final touches

If you prefer your pesto sauce thinner, add the remaining reserved pasta water. Divide the pesto penne between your plates and top with patty pan relish. Halve the lemon and top each portion with a squeeze of juice if desired.