Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer Grilling.

Oh this dinner is one of our favorites. We call is spicy pasta, but it has really evolved from the original recipe. The most recent evolution is the addition of grilled baby eggplant and zucchini. It is so yum tastic.

I usually never photograph food because it never looks as good, but this camera is helpful, but I also had no idea ow involved it is! I forgot to add the cheese, my composition was not well thought out, and I really just wanted to eat it before it got cold! Pete & Amanda's Spicy Pasta with Grilled Vegetables

We got the base of this recipe from Everyday Food, but we have altered it so much, it really belongs to us now! I think this meal is a great answer to anyone who thinks it is hard to be a vegetarian, I'm sure it is if you hate to cook, but no one could eat this and think they are missing out on something. Also, the beauty of this is that it uses basically just one pot. It takes some deft orchestration to get things done at the right time, but it isn't too hard.

Serves Two hungry people or probably up to Four normal portions (the two of us eat it all)


8 oz. Penne Pasta
One 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes
3 oz. tomato paste, half a can
medium onion, diced
As much garlic as you like, we use probably 4 or 5 bulbs crushed and diced
Fresh spinach, say two handfuls or so, chopped into strips
Baby eggplant, peeled and cut into wedges
Zucchini, cut lengthwise into bacon-like strips
A tablespoon or so of lemon juice
Olive Oil
kosher salt
black pepper
crushed red pepper flakes


Boil water in a great big pot.
Add Pasta cook till done, reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta water, then drain and leave in strainer.
While Pasta is cooking toss eggplant and zucchini with olive oil and a little salt and black pepper.
Heat grill to high, then turn down to medium and put on eggplant and zucchini, cook till soft and done about five minutes on each side.
After draining the pasta water put the pot back on low heat and add the olive oil, onion and garlic.
When onion is translucent and before garlic turns brown, add tomatoes and tomato paste.
Season with salt and plenty of black pepper, and throw a ton of crushed red pepper in, however much you can handle (remember, it ain't called spicy pasta for nothing)
Stir to make a nice sauce and then add the cooked pasta.
Add lemon juice and reserved pasta water, a splash at a time, to thicken the sauce and coat the pasta.
Lastly, add the chopped spinach and stir to wilt it along with the grilled eggplant and zucchini
(which can also be chopped into bite sized pieces if desired)

Serve with grated Pecorino Romano cheese.


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