Summer Pasta with Pesto, Grilled Salmon and Corn

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A good bowl of summer pasta is a great joy. That’s a truth universally acknowledged. (Sorry, I’ve got Victorian literature on the brain, not to mention on my arm.) Summer pasta can — and frankly should, if you’re living right — take many shapes over the course of the season. For one thing, it’s a lovely way to turn leftovers from the grill into something new and wonderful. 

Summer Pasta with Pesto, Grilled Salmon, and Corn 780 | Umami Girl-2


Sockeye salmon is a great choice for nutritional profile and sustainability. You can learn more at Seafood Watch, one of our favorite resources.

A great bowl of summer pasta

This recipe started out as a way to repurpose leftovers from both Grilled Salmon Niçoise Salad and Elotes in one fell swoop. I had no intention of sharing the recipe until we realized how good it was, but in the end we all agreed it should be shared. In my dream world, you’ll have a batch of garlic scape pesto mellowing in your freezer. You’ll make both the recipes above and then turn the pesto and your leftovers into this bowl of magic. And we can all envision the world as a slightly kinder place than we did last week.

But honestly, because everything except the pasta gets cooked on the grill in a flash, it’s eminently reasonable to make all the elements at once.

Let’s do and say we did.

Summer Pasta with Pesto, Grilled Salmon, and Corn 780 | Umami Girl-2

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Summer Pasta with Pesto, Grilled Salmon, and Corn

This summery pasta is full of savory flavors. We first cobbled it together from a confluence of leftovers, but you can cook most of the main components on the grill.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Serves 8


  • 1 pound wild salmon fillet
  • 3 or 4 ears corn, shucked
  • 1 lemon, sliced thin
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 batch perfect pesto (or your favorite pesto)
  • 1/2 cup good green olives
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese to pass at the table


  1. Preheat grill to high (about 400-500°F). Place the salmon skin-side down on a double layer of aluminum foil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and lay the lemon slices over the flesh. Grill salmon on one side of grill until done to your liking, about 8-10 minutes for just barely opaque in the center, depending on thickness. Meanwhile, place shucked corn directly on grates on available side of grill and grill until nicely browned but still tender, flipping once, about 5 minutes per side,
  2. When grill is free, rub asparagus with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grill until nicely charred, 2-3 minutes per side, flipping once. 
  3. Prepare pesto
  4. Cook spaghetti al dente according to package directions. Drain and toss with pesto. Flake the salmon into bite-sized pieces, cut corn kernels from cobs, and gently mix salmon and corn into pasta. Divide pasta among serving bowls and garnish each with a few olives, some asparagus spears and a grilled lemon slice. Serve with grated cheese to pass at the table.


I first made this pasta with an embarrassment of leftover riches from Grilled Salmon Niçoise Salad and Elotes, but with most of the ingredients cooked on the grill, it's almost as easy to prepare from scratch.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 478 Total Fat:: 18.4g Carbohydrates:: 54.9g Fiber:: 4.7g Protein:: 25.2g

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