28 Essential Summer Pasta Recipes to Carb-Load Through the Heat

Twirl your way to happiness with our bright, fresh summer pasta recipes

Pasta may be our go-to comfort food in cold-weather months, but it also makes for some of our favorite easy summer recipes.

As the temperature rises, trade out heavier ingredients like braised meats or long-cooked sauces for fresh vegetables, bright herbs, and seafood. Linguine and clams with olive oil, white wine, and chiles is one of the greatest classic Italian recipes, ever. For a more extravagant seafood feast, try bucatini ai frutti di mare—pasta with clams, shrimp, squid, and lobster.

Of course, the greatest culinary gift of the season is the beautiful, abundant summer produce. Our buckwheat and ricotta gnocchi are tossed in a cream sauce lightened with fresh spinach and peas while our bright summer bolognese eschews red sauce for tomatoes and fresh basil. On especially hot days, look to cool pasta salad, like our classic Greek version tossing rotini with crisp tomato, onion, cucumber, and tangy feta cheese.

Find all these dishes and more in our gallery of summer pasta recipes.

Classic Spaghetti Puttanesca

plate of pasta puttanesca and a glass of red wine
Rumor has it that pasta puttanesca–literally "whore's pasta"–was a quick and easy dinner of choice among Neapolitan working ladies, but the dish's salacious history is unlikely. Get the recipe for Classic Spaghetti Puttanesca »Matt Taylor-Gross

Lemon-Infused Spaghetti with Oil and Provolone

Lemon-Infused Spaghetti with Oil and Provolone
Cook your pasta in fragrant lemon water. Get the recipe for Lemon-Infused Spaghetti with Oil and Provolone »Matt Taylor-Gross

Swiss Chard Anzelottos with Pomodoro Sauce

Anzelottos Stuffed with Swiss Chard topped with Pomodoro Sauce
From the tortelli family, anzelottos are rectangles often with ridged edges. "They're made with a thicker, bright white dough of plain semola flour and hot water, which penetrates the proteins in the rustic flour more easily," chef Evan Funke of Felix in Los Angeles says. Get the recipe for Swiss Chard Anzelottos with Pomodoro Sauce »Heami Lee

Fresh Pasta Sheets with Pesto

Fresh Pasta Sheets with Pesto
Mandilli di seta—large, thin pasta sheets—with pesto at Da Laura in San Fruttuoso. Get the recipe for Fresh Pasta Sheets with Pesto »Michelle Heimerman

Spaghettoni with Jasmine, Saffron, and Chamomile

Spaghettoni with Jasmine, Saffron, and Chamomile
These floral, buttery noodles from chef Antonia Klugmann at L'Argine a Vencò can be infused using either fresh or dried flowers. Steep the flowers in the butter and pasta cooking water in advance if desired, and reheat when ready to use. Any tubular pasta like bucatini or spaghetti, cooked al dente, will work. Get the recipe for Spaghettoni with Jasmine, Saffron, and Chamomile »Beth Galton

Lorighittas with Shrimp, Mussels & Orange

Lorighittas with Shrimp, Mussels & Orange
Made by looping a slender strand of dough around two fingers, then carefully twisting the pieces into what looks like a thin rope, lorighittas take time and, ideally, multiple makers. Let the pieces dry slightly before boiling to preserve their shape, resting them on a surface heavily dusted with semolina to help prevent sticking and warping when lifted. Leave the heads on the shrimp for a deeper, sweeter seafood flavor, and finish the pasta in a combination of fresh orange juice and the juices from the cooked mussels. Get the recipe for Lorighittas with Shrimp, Mussels & Orange »Beth Galton

Summer Bolognese

Simple Weeknight Meal, Summer bolognese
This recipe for summer bolognese has the classic comfort of bolognese, but without the heaviness of a red sauce, instead embracing the summer's bounty of gorgeous tomatoes and fresh basil. Get the recipe for Summer Bolognese »Farideh Sadeghin

Corkscrew Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato-Basil Pesto (Busiate con Pesto alla Trapanese)

Corkscrew Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato-Basil Pesto (Busiate con Pesto alla Trapanese)
The North African tradition of serving almonds in savory dishes is reflected in the pesto for this dish, in which the nuts are mixed with tomatoes and basil and tossed with busiate, the traditional corkscrew-shaped pasta from Trapani. Though we call for homemade pasta, you can substitute 12 ounces of dried busiate, available from Alma Gourmet, or your favorite noodle. Get the recipe for Corkscrew Pasta with Eggplant and Tomato-Basil Pesto (Busiate con Pesto alla Trapanese) »William Hereford

Buckwheat and Ricotta Gnocchi with Cream, Peas, and Spinach

Buckwheat and Ricotta Gnocchi with Cream, Peas, and Spinach
Buckwheat flour gives this gnocchi weightiness and an earthy flavor that pairs perfectly with a spring mix of peas and spinach. Get the recipe for Buckwheat and Ricotta Gnocchi with Cream, Peas, and Spinach »Con Poulos

Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Peperoncino Chiles

Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Peperoncino Chiles
Once served at the end of a meal—post dessert—this simple, classic Roman pasta dish has become a staple first-course across the city. Get the recipe for Spaghetti with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Peperoncino Chiles »Andrea Wyner

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera
Sirio Maccioni, the well-known restaurateur of Le Cirque fame, has been acknowledged for creating this dish. Get the recipe for Pasta Primavera »Matt Taylor-Gross

Fettuccine with Pesto Cream Sauce, Roasted Red Peppers, and Spinach

Fettuccine with Pesto Cream Sauce, Roasted Red Peppers, and Spinach
A combination of pesto, parmesan, and reduced cream makes a rich sauce for fettuccine or other long, thin pasta. Get the recipe for Fettuccine with Pesto Cream Sauce, Roasted Red Peppers, and Spinach »Laura Sant

Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad

Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad
Pasta salads are essential summer food: they travel well; they're easy to adapt to whatever produce you have on-hand; and they're simple to make in large portions, making them perfect dishes to carry to parties, picnics, and barbecues. Get the recipe for Sausage and Arugula Pasta Salad »Farideh Sadeghin

Noodles with Peas (Pasta e Piselli)

Noodles with Peas (Pasta e Piselli)
The always-comforting combination of peas, bacon, and cheese, which comes from Romeo Salta's The Pleasures of Italian Cooking, comes together in less than half an hour. Get the recipe for Noodles with Peas (Pasta e Piselli) »Matt Taylor-Gross

Trenette with Pesto, Beans & Potatoes

Trenette with Pesto, Beans & Potatoes
In this classic Genoese dish, fettuccine pasta is combined with string beans, baby red potatoes, and tossed with basil pesto. Get the recipe for Trenette with Pesto, Beans & Potatoes »Todd Coleman

Spaghetti with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Fennel

Spaghetti with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Fennel
We like to serve this pasta topped with a little shaved bottarga, the dried salted roe of tuna or gray mullet; a sprinkle adds a briny, salty note that beautifully offsets sweet, oven roasted plum tomatoes. Get the recipe for Spaghetti with Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Fennel »Laura Sant

Fusilli With Scampi, Cranberry, and Peas

Fusilli with scampi, cranberry, beans and peas, Maine picnic
We whipped up this tasty dish during a trip to Venice, using fresh ingredients we found at the local markets. You won't find Venetian scampi in this country; substitute good-quality baby shrimp. Get the recipe for Fusilli With Scampi, Cranberry, and Peas »Farideh Sadeghin

Fettucine with Corn Crema and Charred Green Onions

Fettucine with Corn Crema and Charred Green Onions
For a creamy texture—without the cream—Philadelphia chef Marc Vetri purées fresh, starchy corn into a thick sauce that he then tosses with smoky scallions for a succulent summer pasta. Get the recipe for Fettucine with Corn Crema and Charred Green Onions »Matt Taylor-Gross

Lobster Linguine with Chiles

Lobster Linguine with Chiles
This classic pasta, from award-winning chef Fulvio Pierangelini at his restaurant, Irene, in Florence, Italy, is enriched with the lobsters' coral, or roe sac. It adds a pop of briny flavor to the pasta, but can be omitted if the lobsters you buy don't contain it. Get the recipe for Lobster Linguine with Chiles »Christina Holmes

Spaghettini with Carrots, Olives, and Red Endive

Spaghettini with Carrots, Olives, and Red Endive
Carrot ribbons cooked al dente and lightly braised red endive add color to this simple vegetable-packed pasta dish, brightened with lots of lemon zest. Josita Hartanto of Berlin's Lucky Leek uses multicolored carrots for a beautiful presentation. Get the recipe for Spaghettini with Carrots, Olives, and Red Endive »Matt Taylor-Gross

Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad
Tangy feta and crunchy veggies get extra body from rotini in this classic Greek-inspired pasta salad. Get the recipe for Greek Pasta Salad »Maxime Iattoni

Orecchiette with Rapini and Goat Cheese

Orecchiette with Rapini and Goat Cheese
Slightly bitter rapini (also known as broccoli rabe) marries well with tangy goat cheese in a pasta recipe that's ideal for summer picnics and potlucks. Get the recipe for Orecchiette with Rapini and Goat Cheese »André Baranowski

Garlic Scape and Cherry Tomato Pasta

Garlic Scape and Cherry Tomato Pasta
Roasting garlic scapes with tomatoes and red onion sweetens them and enriches their flavor; toss them with pasta, lemon juice, and arugula for a simple summer meal. Get the recipe for Garlic Scape and Cherry Tomato Pasta »Farideh Sadeghin

Crabs and Spaghetti

Crabs and Spaghetti
In this adaptation of a popular southern Italian specialty, king crab legs are a meatier alternative to blue crabs. Get the recipe for Crabs and Spaghetti »Todd Coleman

Moroccan Pasta Salad

Moroccan Pasta Salad
The flavors of a richly spiced Moroccan tagine come together in this pasta salad, savory and bright with olive, lemon, and cinnamon. Get the recipe for Moroccan Pasta Salad »Maxime Iattoni

Gnocchi al Pesto

Gnocchi al Pesto
Tender gnocchi tossed with a classic pesto genovese is a popular first course in Liguria. Get the recipe for Gnocchi al Pesto »Penny De Los Santos

Fettuccine with Heirloom Tomatoes

Fettuccine with Heirloom Tomatoes
This homemade fettuccine is simply tossed with heirloom tomatoes and basil. Get the recipe for Fettuccine with Heirloom Tomatoes »Todd Coleman

Linguine with Clams and Chiles

Linguine with Clams and Chiles
As olive oil mingles with white wine and sweet clams in this classic pasta dish, it creates a fragrant sauce that coats the pasta. Get the recipe for Linguine with Clams and Chiles »Todd Coleman