Paras’ summer recipes

As the school year comes to a close, celebrate your newfound freedom while staying home and making some original summer recipes created by WSS staff member and food-lover Paras Bassuk ’21.

On their own or together as one delicious feast, these summer recipes are great ways to try new foods and develop new culinary skills. Over the course of quarantine, WSS staffer Paras Bassuk ’21 has developed and photographed these three dishes to serve while school is out.

Summer Pancetta Pasta

Incorporating pancetta, tomato, basil, and garlic into this dish makes it an aromatic summer favorite. (Paras Bassuk)

A balance of rich, acidic, savory, aromatic, and spicy, this flavorful pasta is a perfect fit for you and your family this summer.


  1. Large pot for boiling pasta
  2. Large pan with deep sides

Measurements (serves 4-6):

  1. 1 lb. dry pasta
  2. 4-6 oz. diced pancetta, bacon, bacon substitutes (if you go meatless, you may need to add a little olive oil to make up for some loss of richness)
  3. ~1 cup fresh basil (torn)+ extra for garnish
  4. ¾ – 1 pint cherry tomatoes (halved)
  5. 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  6. 1-2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  7. Juice of 1/4 of a large lemon
  8. Salt and pepper to taste
  9. Grated parmesan cheese
Substitute meatless bacon, bacon, and other veggies to personalize your summer pasta. (Paras Bassuk)


  1. Boil dry pasta until al dente (slightly less time than recommended on the box) and set aside 1/4 cup of pasta water before you drain it.
  2. While it boils, add diced pancetta into a large, deep pan on medium-low heat until the fat has rendered out and pancetta is crispy.
  3. When pasta is drained, set it aside and add red pepper flakes and finely chopped garlic cloves to the pan with the pancetta and turn down heat to low. Continue to fry until aromatic and garlic is browned, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the reserved pasta water to the pan and mix it to loosen the spices stuck to the pan.
  5. Add the halved tomatoestorn basil leaves, and cooked pasta to the pan and mix together gently while keeping over lowest heat.
  6. Turn off the heat and add salt, pepper, and juice from a quarter of a large lemon to taste
  7. Top with grated parmesan and serve warm.

Quick & Easy French Boule

A fast french bread is a great place to start on your baking journey. (Paras Bassuk)

Picked up the isolation baking bug but don’t know where to start? An easy no-knead boule takes under 3 hours and will satisfy all your glutinous needs. This recipe can be doubled or tripled and the dough can sit overnight in the fridge after step 3. Just let it come back to room temperature and follow the recipe from there, dividing the dough before step 5.


  1. Dutch oven or other oven-proof vessel with removable lid
  2. Stand mixer with dough hook (optional)


  1. 1 packet of active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp., 9g)
  2. 1 tsp. Sugar
  3. 1 ¼ – 1 ½  cups warm water (100°-110°)
  4. 390g (3-3 ¼ cups) AP flour plus extra for work surface
  5. 1 ½ tsp. salt
  6. 1 – 2 tsp. olive oil.
  7. 1 Tbs. dry rosemary, thyme, or other herbs (optional)
After its first rise, shape dough into a smooth ball and set to rise for another 30 minutes. (Paras Bassuk)


  1. Add yeast, sugar and warm water to a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Gradually mix in flour, salt, and herbs on low speed or with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated and dough pulls away from the side of the bowl.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil on your hands and the top of the dough and turn the dough over several times in the bowl to fully coat it.
  4. Cover the bowl with a cloth or plastic wrap and let it sit for 1 hour in a warm, humid place (perfect for Iowa weather!).
  5. Place risen dough on a lightly floured surface and fold the corners into the middle of the dough. Flip the dough over and use your hands to rotate the dough and form a smooth boule.
  6. Lightly oil a clean bowl and place the dough inside with the smooth side down. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes in a warm place.
  7. Place a dutch oven or other ovenproof vessel with a lid into the oven. Preheat oven to 460°F.
  8. Turn out the dough onto a piece of parchment paper and score it with a razor or knife. (about ½ in. deep scoring).
  9. Lower the dough on the parchment paper into the hot dutch oven, cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Remove the lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes (darker color=more flavor!).
  11. Carefully remove from dutch oven and onto a cooling rack for 30 minutes before cutting and enjoying!

 Spiced Honey and Fresh Fruit

A fresh fruit dessert celebrates Summer and is great with any meal. (Paras Bassuk)

Fresh summer fruits glazed in spiced honey over Greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream are a fantastically refreshing treat in a hot Iowan summer. Substitute in your favorite citrus, berries, or whatever is in season!

Measurements-to taste:

  1. Grapefruit, watermelon, mango, orange, and other seasonal fruits
  2. Honey
  3. Cinnamon and cardamom
  4. Pistachios
  5. Fresh mint
  6. Greek yogurt (also great on ice cream, french toast, granola, etc.)


  1. Thinly slice and peel the fruits.
  2. Combine the honeycinnamon and cardamom to taste.
  3. Glaze the fruits in spiced honey.
  4. Toast pistachios in a dry pan on medium heat until lightly browned.
  5. Add these components to the dish of your choosing and top with torn mint leaves.


If you make any of these recipes, make sure to post about it and tag @wsspaper on social media!