Summer is the perfect time to try out delicious recipes while soaking up the sun! Chef Anne Burrell has got you covered when it comes to cooking up the perfect dish to serve at your next cookout. The Food Network star spoke to Closer exclusively about how to craft a mouth-watering barbecue menu, her upcoming summer plans and the “best spaghetti dish” she ever had.

Anne Burell Shares ‘Simple’ Spaghetti Recipe, BBQ Tips
Erik Pendzich/Shutterstock

What is the best summer pasta dish you ever had and why was it so incredible?

“The best spaghetti dish I have ever had was in Ischia, an island off the coast of Naples. A few years ago, some friends and I visited the island and were out on a boat for the day. We stopped by a restaurant called Giardinia de Eden, and they sent out a little boat to bring us to the restaurant, which was right on the water. We sat out wearing bathing suits and coverups, feeling the Italian sunshine on our faces, drinking Chilean white wine and eating Spaghetti Alle Vongole while looking out at the ocean. The clams had come right from the ocean and were so insanely fresh and simple, but it was the most perfect pasta dish I have ever had. It was a perfect afternoon.”

Please share a recipe featuring spaghetti:

“​I am doing one with shrimp, zucchini and lemon. I make this all the time in the summer because it’s fast, delicious and simple.”

(The full recipe can be found by scrolling below to the bottom of the page.)

What is a great summer pasta you recommend and why? 

“From Cook Like a Rockstar, there is pasta with salsa cruda. It is pasta with a raw sauce with a bunch of tomatoes and summer vegetables. You don’t have to cook it ahead of time. All you have to do is combine all the vegetables, heat them up, toss them with the pasta and top it with ricotta salata. It really showcases fresh summer vegetables and is quick, easy and delicious.”

What are your plans this summer?

“I am going to be working for part of the summer. We have some family events this summer, so I will be going upstate to Cazenovia to see my family and Stuart, my husband, and I plan on taking a couple of long weekend trips within a few hours of here.”

Anne, what is your go-to, ultimate BBQ menu?  

“I am a huge ribs girl and love St. Louis style big meaty ones. I’ll pair my ribs with a vinegary barbecue sauce, and I always need a delicious potato salad so it’s nice and zesty. I also like to put some crunchy vegetables in there, and I mix a vinaigrette and mayonnaise, so it’s really bright but also creamy at the same time. I love a creamy but vinegary red cabbage slaw, a lovely mac and cheese, deviled eggs, a cucumber, tomato, red onion salad and don’t forget the beans! For many people, barbecue is about the big meat, but I am all about the sides!”

For a summer evening, are there any super fun cocktails or desserts you recommend?

“I love a Bramble, which is smashed berries and vodka, so it’s fruity but also refreshing. The drink consists of Gin, Chambord, lemon juice, a little simple syrup, muddled berries (raspberries or blackberries) and lots of ice. You can top it off with some club soda or prosecco if preferred.”

What makes your turkey burger recipe so delicious?

“I have had so many bad, dry, crumbly and flavorless turkey burgers in my life, so when I decided to make a version of the turkey burger, I had to go in the wildly other direction and make it super flavorful and moist. My turkey burgers are Asian-inspired with ginger, onions, garlic and cilantro, but the real kicker is the chopped-up water chestnuts that give it a lovely crunch.”

See below for Anne’s recipe for spaghetti with shrimp, zucchini and lemon, which serves four people.  

Mise en Place:

10 garlic cloves, gently smashed with the side of a knife, but mostly kept whole

Crushed red pepper

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 small zucchini, cut into ½ inch dice

½ cup white wine

½ cup chicken stock

2 lemons, zest and juice

2 tablespoons butter

4 sprigs oregano, picked and finely chopped

¼ cup grated Parmigiano (optional)

Extra Virgin olive oil for cooking

Kosher salt

1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Taste the water — it should be salty like the ocean.

2. Coat a large, wide, straight-sided sauté pan generously with olive oil. Toss in 5 of the garlic cloves, a pinch of crushed red pepper and bring the pan to a medium-high heat. When the garlic is golden and aromatic remove and discard, it has fulfilled its garlic destiny. We are just looking to perfume the oil and not overpower with garlic.

3. Toss in the shrimp, season with salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes, VERY quick! Remove from the pan and reserve. The shrimp won’t be all the way done, but don’t worry!

4. Coat the pan generously again with olive oil. Toss in the remaining garlic and another pinch of crushed red pepper and bring the pan to a medium-high heat. When the garlic is golden and aromatic, remove it and ditch it.

5. Add the zucchini to the pan, season with salt and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and reduce by half.

6. Drop the pasta and cook for 2 minutes less than the directions on the package. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Strain the pasta.

7. While the pasta is cooking, add the chicken stock to the pan with the zucchini. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Toss in the butter and swirl around to incorporate.

8. Add the cooked pasta to the pan along with half of the reserved pasta cooking water. Toss to combine. Add the lemon zest and juice, cooked shrimp and remaining pasta water if things are a little dry. You want this to be saucy but not soupy. Turn off the heat and add in the oregano, a drizzle of olive oil and grated parm if using. Toss or swirl vigorously to combine. Plate and serve immediately!!

I like to add grated parm to this dish, it brings a lovely richness. But adding cheese to pasta dishes with fish is a matter of choice. You do what you like!