Monday, August 31, 2009

grilled vegetable pasta? easy, peasy!

sometimes i make dishes that are so incredibly easy i feel silly actually blogging about them...i mean, they don't require much in the way of technique or skill...they just taste delicious. but then i will serve the dish to family and/or friends...and the first thing i hear is... "you have to blog this"... i look at it this way....for the experienced cooks who read this blog...please use the easy/peasy items as an excuse to share your own simple recipes in the comments section. for new cooking philosophy can be summed up as..."use the best quality, freshest, local, organic/sustainably grown ingredients you can...and don't muck them up with overly complicated recipes.".... example...grilled vegetable pasta...truly a dish anyone can of all.... one of the most versatile recipes imaginable...

it was over 100 degrees a few days last week and we had invited some friends to come over for a mid-week dinner...i did not want to turn on the oven...and had stocked up on tons of beautiful vegetables at the tuesday napa farmer's i turned to my tried and true summer go-to pasta. the beauty of this dish is that it is incredibly can make this with whatever vegetables you like...but this time i had lots of yellow squash, zucchini, red onions and tomatoes. the secret to the taste is that the vegetables are grilled....and, when they are prepared outside using a bbq grill, the dish is pure bliss...

i always have dried pasta on hand....and thanks to oxbow....amazing bread from model bakery is just a few minutes away....the farmer's market is held on tuedays and saturdays from may through versions of this menu are made frequently throughout the summer...pasta, a sourdough baguette from oxbow (i grill it and then rub with fresh garlic and drizzle with really good e.v.o.o.!), salad with homemade vinaigrette, and a fresh fruit dessert (think cobblers...loads of cobblers using the olive oil biscuit recipe from my last post) good does that dinner sound?

today, i am posting a pasta recipe using 2 kinds of summer squash, onions and tomatoes...but i have made it with all types of squash, eggplants, peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, name it...anything that sounds like it would taste good grilled works.

grilled vegetable pasta
3 yellow crookneck squash*, sliced lengthwise about 1/2 inch thick
3 zucchini*, sliced lengthwise about 1/2 inch thick
1 large onion*, sliced lengthwise about 1/2 inch thick
3-4 heirloom tomatoes*, sliced lengthwise about 1 inch thick
1 cup mixed fresh herbs* (basil, italian parsley, mint, rosemary, thyme..whatever you like) roughly chopped
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
grey salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 lb pasta..again, whatever type you like... i used pappardelle in this recipe)
good aged balsamic vinegar for drizzling
additional e.v.o.o. for drizzling
chives*, snipped
freshly shredded parmigiano-reggiano cheese
*locally grown and organic or sustainably grown if you can*

prepare charcoal grill...i prefer using hardwood coals...better for the environment and they do not have that bad "chemical" smell.

meanwhile, place vegetables in a rimmed dish and pour the olive oil over the vegetables. add 1/2 the herbs, a generous pinch of salt and 1 tsp pepper and gently toss the mixture until the vegetable are completely covered with oil. set aside while grill is getting hot.

when grill is hot remove crooknecks, zucchini and onion slices from pan and place on grill...(reserve olive oil from dish)...give squash a minute or two and check for nice grill marks. brush top side and turn allowing to grill until just cooked through. add tomato slices during last minute of do not need to turn tomatoes. remove vegetables from grill and add to a large serving bowl.

while waiting for coals to get hot, bring a large pot of well salted water to a rapid boil. just before placing vegetables on grill, add pasta to boiling water and cook for 8-10 minutes until al dente'. drain and add to serving bowl containing grilled vegetables. pour reserved olive oil over pasta/vegetables and gently stir. add remaining 1/2 cup fresh herbs and a drizzle (about a tsp.) of the vinegar to bowl and stir again. taste and add additional salt & pepper if needed. drizzle with additional e.v.o.o if desired. garnish with chives and serve. pass the cheese separately. friends loved the dinner and promptly asked for it to be served again on labor day next week and...since i have 20 people coming to dinner the day before with a much more complicated menu planned...i think grilled vegetable pasta is the perfect solution to entertaining two days in a row.... yeah summer!!

for those of you in the usa...what are you making for the holiday?...actually...for everyone...what are you eating this weekend?


diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885
"live a green life of style"
follow me on twitter


Lisa said...

Hi Diane,
We live in Colorado and are grilling burgers and hot dogs for Labor Day. Your pasta looks delicious. I may have to make it the following weekend.

Love your blog!

Jane said...

Hi Diane,
We are having BBQ chicken, coleslaw, watermelon and cupcakes for dessert.