As we all are almost into the thick of summer, we begin to look forward to the sights and smells of longer days, warmer temperatures and the seasonal tastes we associate with the mid-year months. I enjoy looking forward to the changing of seasons and value them as a time to not only refresh and renew but also utilize the in-season fruits, vegetables and herbs that stock our grocery store shelves and backyard gardens. This recipe has eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini – all grilled. The seasonal flavors stew into a flavorful sauce that is almost like a meaty Bolognese sauce but is all vegetable. Pair with your favorite pasta, a cold beverage and even some fresh mozzarella, and make the most of the delicious seasonal produce!
1 eggplant, sliced lengthwise
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 yellow pepper, seeded and quartered
3 tomatoes, thickly sliced
½ cup of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
sea salt and pepper
1 pound of pasta (pictured with whole wheat spaghetti)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
fresh basil, to garnish
- Combine garlic and ½ cup olive oil in a small bowl. Brush the oil on all sides of the sliced vegetables and reserve remaining oil. Sprinkle each vegetable with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
- Grill the vegetables for 3-4 minutes on each side until tender. Remove the vegetables from the grill and set aside, let cool. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
- Once vegetables have cooled, roughly chop into 1-inch pieces. In a large sauté pan, add reserved oil with garlic. Cook for 30 seconds on medium-high until the garlic begins to bubble and becomes fragrant. Add crushed red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 10-20 seconds. Add chopped vegetables, and stir the mixture. Continue to cook and allow tender vegetables like the eggplant and tomatoes to begin to break apart and make the sauce.
- Cook the pasta in salted, boiling water just until al dente. Add ¼ cup of pasta water to the sauce to thin out adjusting if more is needed. Remove pasta from pot and add directly into the sauce and toss. Add mozzarella, a protein of choice and fresh basil to garnish, if desired.