Spaghetti with Grilled Ratatouille
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.
Serve this hearty pasta dinner with Bruschetta with Rustic Green Olive Tapenade
nutrition information (per serving):
photo: Scott Phillips
From Fine Cooking 111
, pp. 40
May 5, 2011