This meatless pasta dish shows that if you start with fresh ingredients, it takes very little work to make a stellar meal. For the most vibrant dish, use a combination of herbs, but if you want to simplify things, you could use just one or two. Leftovers are satisfying another night. Just serve them at room temperature, or stir them over medium heat, adding water as needed to prevent sticking.
Pasta with Grilled Vegetables and Herbs
- 2 zucchini, cut lengthwise in thirds
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into quarters
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into quarters
- 1 large red onion, cut crosswise into slices 1/2 to 3/4 inch (12 mm to 2 cm) thick
- Olive oil for brushing
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) penne, preferably multigrain
- 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) mixed fresh herbs, such as mint, basil, oregano and marjoram, minced
- 1 small red chile, minced
- 1/4 cup (1 1/2 oz./45 g) pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) walnuts, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (2 1/2 oz./75 g) feta cheese, finely chopped, or a small chunk of pecorino romano cheese
1. Prepare a hot fire in a grill. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Arrange the vegetables on the grill, cover and cook until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) pieces.
2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until al dente, about 11 minutes.
3. Drain the pasta and transfer to a warmed shallow serving bowl. Add the grilled vegetables, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh herbs, chile, olives and walnuts to the pasta and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If using feta cheese, sprinkle over and toss to combine. If using pecorino romano, allow the diners to grate it over their own serving at the table. Serves 4.
Find more simple, seasonal weeknight recipes in our cookbook Weeknight Fresh + Fast, by Kristine Kidd.