basil scape pesto spaghetti with summer vegetables

It just dawned on me that while I mentioned a looooong time ago that Marc and I were moving to St Paul, Minnesota, I never actually talked about our move!  That was probably because it was in the midst of Marc and I’s graduation, our backpacking trip, and me studying for boards, among other things.  I’m not quite sure how we made it through such a crazy time AND moved into a new place, but here we are, a month and a half later, nice and cozy in a spacious two bedroom duplex.  It’s part of an old house with tons of character and in a great neighborhood of St Paul and we are so happy with our new place.  

Now, since it’s a duplex, that means we have neighbors!  Marc and I seriously could not have gotten luckier with the couple that lives below us.  They are a young married couple with an adorable one-year old daughter and already I can tell we are going to be great friends.  We’ve already gotten to know each other through grilling out on our shared patio, taking care of their cat while they were away for a couple of weeks, the guys bonding over brewing beer, and an emergency consultation of Dr. Marc for a big ‘ol bump on their daughter’s head from falling down.  AND they brought me some leftover scapes from the farmers market that they weren’t going to use!    

Now I had only cooked with garlic scapes one other time, so I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them.  Obviously a quick look at the internet gave me hundreds of ideas and I picked a pesto so that I could also use some of my herb garden.  The scapes are simply chopped up into chunks and combined with some basil, nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil for some super fresh and tasty pesto.  I combined it with some whole wheat pasta and fresh summer veggies for a delicious summer dinner!  You’ll notice some of the ingredient amounts are listed as a range, and this is because it is completely dependent upon how much you have or want to use.  So add what you like, and make it your own!    

Not familiar with scapes?  This is a great tutorial! 

Basil Scape Pesto
serves 4-6 

2 cups fresh basil leaves
5 garlic scapes, cut into 1″ pieces
1/4 cup pine nuts, or toasted walnuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil (depending on what consistency of pesto you prefer)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 ears corn
1/2 large zucchini, cut into 1″ slices, then quartered
1-2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
10-12 oz spaghetti, or any other pasta of your liking
grated Parmesan cheese, for topping


In food processor or blender, add basil leaves, scapes, pine nuts, and Parmesan cheese.  Pulse a few times, then drizzle in olive oil and salt and pepper, and pulse until blended.  You may have to scrape down the edges a couple of times to make sure it is all combined.  

Bring large pot of water to boiling.  Cook pasta according to package.  

While pasta is cooking, add about 2 tbsp of pesto to medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add corn and zucchini and stir well to coat with pesto.  You may need to use more pesto to coat the vegetables, but it is dependent on how much sauce you like.  Saute the vegetables about 5 minutes, and then add tomatoes.  Continue cooking another 4-5 minutes, until the tomatoes start to get soft.  

If pasta is finished before vegetables, add 2 tbsp of pesto and stir to combine so noodles do not get sticky.  Once vegetables are done, toss into pasta and add more pesto, according to how much sauce you like.  There’s no perfect amount – it’s up to you!  

To serve, sprinkle with more Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

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