My architectress friends, Sarah, Suzanne and Jennifer traveled from the big city to join me for dinner and a little tennis last month. Sarah brought a beautiful loaf of Vollkorn bread from the Macrina bakery and Suzanne and Jennifer brought a selection of their fabulous homemade jams. It actually didn’t rain that day, maybe one of the two days this July that didn’t, and we were able to eat outside. I tried some new recipes, zucchini frites with lemon and sage, grilled vegetable and herb pasta and summer tomato salad and one tried and true – white gazpacho, along with a strawberry cream cheese pie. The frites were okay, the pasta, tomato salad and pie were very good and of course, I forgot about the gazpacho in the fridge and forgot to serve it…..
I used a recipe from the Seattle Junior League’s Celebrate the Rain cookbook for this grilled vegetable and herb pasta. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…those Junior Leaguers can cook! I did take the liberty of adding the parmesan cheese (and I think goat cheese would be fabulous, too). So, here is to old friends and new recipes.
Grilled Vegetable and Herb Pasta
- 2 (2 pound) eggplants, stemmed and cut into 2 inch slices
- 2 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and gills scraped
- 3 walla walla sweets or red onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 2 red peppers
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 t. dried red pepper flakes (I use less as I don\’t like heat)
- 1/2 cup e.v. olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 pound farfalle or rotini pasta
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and liberally sprinkle both sides with salt. Let sit for about 15 minutes and the wipe off the salt and dry.
- Grill the eggplant, mushrooms and onion slices until just tender, 6-8 minutes, turning as needed. Cool a little and then coarsely chop.
- Broil red peppers to char skin all around. Place in a paper or plastic bag for a few minutes. Take them out and the skin should peel off easily. Stem and seed them. Cut up coarsely.
- Combine the eggplant, mushrooms, onions, peppers, basil, mint, garlic and red pepper flakes in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl whisk together the oil and vinegar and pour over the vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand at least an hour.
- Just before serving cook the pasta al dente.
- Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixture and parmesan.