Who doesn’t like pasta and grilled vegetables? Combine both, and the result will be a vegetarian, main dish that is enhanced by the delicious, grilled flavor.
This is an easy, very versatile recipe, as you can use the pasta (long or short) and vegetables of your preference; whatever is in season for true, delicious flavors.
Although it sometimes feels like winter here, it is summer … so now my choices are zucchini, eggplants, bell peppers, tomatoes, etc. For a complete, yummy dish, you only need to pick a couple of them. This time I used zucchini (a huge one we got from our neighbor’s garden …) and eggplant.
2 tablespoons butter
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1-2 zucchini, cut lengthwise or into ½-cm rounds
1 eggplant, cut lengthwise or into ½-cm rounds
250 g (1/2 lb) mushrooms, clean and quartered
500 g (1 lb) pasta of your preference – I used spaghetti, that I had bought in Turin.
Grated parmesan cheese
Optional: Any herb of your preference (parsley, sage, rosmary, estragon, thyme, etc.), leaves finely chopped.
Start the grill or heat up a frying pan (medium-high). This time I used a cast iron grill pan. The only thing is that grilling the veggies on the stove takes a bit of time, because you have to do it in batches. Be patient, it is all worthwhile the effort!
Lay the slices of vegetable (zucchini and eggplant) in a single layer on a large, baking sheet or cutting board. Brush on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Arrange vegetables on the grill or pan, cook, turning the vegetables once, until they are tender and lightly browned (about 5 minutes per side).
Remove from grill and set aside.
To give the dish a special touch, arrange some of the grilled zucchini slices on a baking tray and top them generously with parmesan cheese. Broil them in the top part of the oven for 3-5 min (230°C/446°F).
They are ready when the cheese is golden brown. Set aside.
Cook pasta al dente. Drain and set aside, keeping it warm.
Preheat a large, frying pan, covering the bottom with a bit of olive oil. Add butter and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sauté over high heat for 3 min.
Add pregrilled vegetables and cooked pasta. Toss to coat.
Correct the seasoning and sprinkle herbs (optional).
Enjoy immediately, garnishing each plate with parmesan-zucchini slices over the top.