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Spaghetti with Grilled Ratatouille

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Serves 4

  • by Pamela Anderson from Fine Cooking
    Issue 111

Grilled vegetables—that summer side dish staple—easily become a satisfying main course when turned into a vibrant sauce for spaghetti.

  • 1 lb. ripe plum tomatoes, halved
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 12 oz.), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch rounds on a slight diagonal
  • 2 baby eggplants (about 12 oz.), trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch rounds on a slight diagonal
  • 1 large red bell pepper (about 8 oz.), stemmed, seeded, and quartered
  • 1 large red onion (about 1 lb.), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 small head garlic
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 12 oz. dried thin spaghetti
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese

Prepare a high gas or charcoal grill fire. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, red pepper, onion, and garlic with 3 Tbs. of the oil, the herbes de Provence, and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Put the vegetables (tomatoes cut side up) and garlic on the grill in a single layer and cover. Grill the tomatoes 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. Transfer the tomatoes and garlic to a medium bowl. Transfer the remaining vegetables to another medium bowl and let cool briefly.

When cool enough to handle, very coarsely chop the zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, and onion; return to the bowl and add 1/2 cup of the olives to the bowl.
Slip the garlic cloves out of their skins into a food processor. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olives, the tomatoes, and the remaining 1 Tbs. of oil; process until smooth.

Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts of well-salted water to a boil in a large pot. Cook the spaghetti in the water about 1 minute less than the package timing for al dente texture. Reserve 1/2 cup of the water, drain the pasta, and return it to the pot.

Toss 1/2 cup of the tomato-olive sauce and the basil and marjoram with the warm vegetables in the bowl. Toss the remaining sauce and the reserved cooking liquid with the pasta; stir over low heat for about 2 minutes so the pasta absorbs some of the sauce. Divide the pasta among 4 plates, top with the vegetables, sprinkle with the cheese, and serve.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this hearty pasta dinner with Bruschetta with Rustic Green Olive Tapenade.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 660; Fat (g): 28; Fat Calories (kcal): 250; Saturated Fat (g): 6; Protein (g): 19; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 17; Carbohydrates (g): 86; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 3.5; Sodium (mg): 1260; Cholesterol (mg): 15; Fiber (g): 11;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This was delicious. Easy to prep ahead if you're having company. I used a mild goat cheese and it was perfect with it. I did find I had to heavily season the tomato sauce even with the salty Kalamata olives mixed in there. I served it with grilled Italian sausage, a very nice summer meal. I also tossed the tomatoes with the garlic clove with the olive oil and some of the H d P, salt and pepper first because my grill isn't very big. In another bowl I tossed the other veggies. Later, when making the sauce and it calls for additional olive oil, I used the tomato oil which was seasoned.

This was really good. My kids called it a "keeper". I used 6 roma tomatoes, 1 large eggplant halved lengthwise then sliced and only 1/2 cup total olives as they are so strong. I reserved the pasta water but didn't use it as there was plenty of tomato sauce. We used feta cheese but will probably use goat cheese next time as the feta was a little strong in combination with the olives.

Wonderfully delicious dish...curious though--where do the calories and fat come from? It's so healthy and very little fat content added. Just seems excessively high.

Great light, flavourful and healthy recipe. I love olives but agree that 3/4 of a cup of Kalamatas is on the excessive side. I reduce the amount and substitute black olives which have a milder and earthy flavour. I'm also allergic to eggplant, so I add mushrooms and substitute more peppers and onions. Great leftovers!

Terrific recipe! I cut the recommended garlic portion in half and it was perfect. Very healthy and vibrant; and it makes great leftovers. Highly recommended!

Although we are not vegetarians, this was an outstanding non-meat dish. My husband abhors olives, so I just cut the amount in half and ground them with the tomatoes in the food processor and he loved it. The grilled flavor of the vegetables was outstanding and I will be using this as an entree in my outdoor grilling cooking class.

I'm not an olive lover at all so I adjusted the recipe leaving out the olives. They were also out of plum tomatoes at the store so I used vine ripe tomatoes. I added a little red pepper and Italian seasonings to the sauce and it was fantastic!

Sorry folks, this one just didn't cut it for us. The kalmata olives WAAAAY overpowered this dish, giving it a "muddy" flavor. They just took over the flavors of the other veggies and tomatoes. IF I was ever to make this again, I would totally leave the kalmatas out.

Best ratatouille recipe as the grille really ads flavor. Less pasta and I think the next time I will use a flat pasta and not spaghetti. I had a really hard time getting the pasta and the veggies in one bite.

Very tasty when prepared as written.

Loved it. Great grill recipe - changed one thing added a nice fresh handful of parsley to the tomato and garlic mixture and pureed along with it for extra flavor. Also used a combination of fresh thyme, rosemary and oregano for the grilled veggie part.

Loved this! Be sure to add the pasta water and reheat, as stated in the recipe, it makes the pasta GLOW!!!

Enjoyed this pasta very much. Followed the recipe fairly closely. Garlic was a little tricky, but very tasty & worth the trouble.

Basic, but good, recipe. It's nice to see vegetarian recipes for the grill.

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