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Foodie Friday: A great way to use summer veggies

When a friend gave me a week of her CSA share, I knew I had to act fast. I had bags of beautiful summer abundance sitting on my counter and only a few days to use them before we headed out on our own vacation. Thank goodness for Google. I did a search of a few key ingredients and found the most amazing pasta dish using almost all of the veggies. It was a huge hit with all three kids, and that’s saying something for a dish featuring eggplant. Here’s the recipe for pasta with roasted vegetables, tomatoes, and basil from Epicurious. Tweak as needed. If you don’t have eggplant but have tons of zucchini, use that. Don’t be afraid to mix things up. The beauty of this kind of pasta dishes is that it allows you to get creative. There are no set rules. Other than making sure the pasta is  al dente. 

Ingredients

Nonstick vegetable oil spray (or extra olive oil, which is what I used)

3 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used a mix of colors)

1 1/2 medium eggplants, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 1/2 large yellow crookneck squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

2 1/4 cups 1/2-inch pieces peeled butternut squash (I didn’t have squash, so I didn’t use it. I used mushrooms instead.)

6 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 pounds penne pasta

3 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded, diced

3/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 1/4 tablespoons dried

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preparation

Preheat oven to 450° F. Spray large roasting pan with nonstick spray or coat with olive oil. Combine red bell peppers, eggplant, crookneck squash, and butternut squash in prepared pan. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, approximately 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain; reserve 3/4 cup cooking liquid.

Combine pasta, roasted vegetables, tomatoes, and basil in large bowl. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil, vinegar, and garlic. Toss to combine. Season pasta to taste with salt and pepper, adding reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten, if desired. Mound pasta on platter. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover and keep at room temperature.

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