Take advantage of grilling season and summer’s freshest vegetables to make a delicious pasta dish. Farm fresh veggies, grilled, and tossed with spaghetti then tossed with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese.
1 pound ripe small sweet tomatoes, halved
½ pound asparagus, trimmed, tough ends removed
1 small zucchini, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1 baby eggplant, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
½ large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, quartered
½ large yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, quartered
1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 lemons, cut in half
2 large garlic cloves, skins remaining
12 ounces dried thick spaghetti
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, asparagus, zucchini, eggplant, red pepper, yellow pepper and onion with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, garlic powder, and a couple generous pinches of salt and pepper.
Put the vegetables on the grill in a single layer. Grill the tomatoes; skin side down, without turning until their skins have darkened and their flesh is soft. Grill the remaining vegetables, turning once, until grill-marked and tender, about 8 minutes. When cooked, add the tomatoes to a blender container. Transfer the remaining vegetables to another medium bowl and let cool briefly. Grill the lemons, cut side down only, for 5 minutes. Squeeze the lemon juice into the blender; discard the peels. Grill the garlic cloves, with skins remaining for 5 minutes. Peel and add to the blender.
When cool enough to handle, dice the zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, and onion. Cut the asparagus into 1” pieces. Cover and keep warm. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the blender with the tomatoes and garlic; process until smooth.
Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts of well-salted water to a boil in a large pot. Cook the spaghetti in the water according to the package directions for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.
Using the sauce from the blender, toss with the pasta. If the sauce needs to be thinned, use a small amount of the reserved pasta water. Place the pasta in warmed bowls and top with the vegetables, the fresh basil and oregano, a sprinkle of cheese, and serve. Makes 4 servings.