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